Israel health official says ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in hospital after feeling unwell

An Israeli health official says an influential Israeli rabbi who is the spiritual leader of an ultra-orthodox political party has been hospitalized after feeling unwell.

Spokeswoman Etti Dvir of Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem says Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who is in his nineties, was hospitalized on Saturday morning. Dvir wouldn't say what ailment the Rabbi suffered, citing patient-doctor confidentiality. She says he is conscious and in a stable condition, but will be kept under observation for the next few days.

The outspoken Yosef is the chief spiritual advisor of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, which represents Israeli Jews of Middle Eastern descent. He has turned the party into kingmakers in Israel's parliament. Images of Yosef with his trademark turban and dark glasses appear on billboards throughout the country.