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22 Jul, 2023 22:46

Netanyahu undergoes heart surgery – media

The Israeli prime minister has been fitted with a pacemaker, according to Kan broadcaster
Netanyahu undergoes heart surgery – media

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underwent heart surgery overnight and was fitted with a pacemaker, state-run broadcaster Kan has reported.

The operation was carried out under sedation at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv and was conducted successfully without complications, the outlet reported on Sunday.

The prime minister’s doctors – Professor Roi Beinert and Professor Eil Nof – later told Kan that Netanyahu “feels great and is returning to his daily routine.” 

The prime minister will remain in the hospital for some time for observation, according to the broadcaster.

Netanyahu issued a brief statement overnight on Twitter, saying that “a week ago I was fitted with a monitoring device. That device beeped this evening and said I must have a pacemaker and that I must do this already tonight.”

Justice Minister Yariv Levin served as acting prime minister while Netanyahu was incapacitated, the Times of Israel reported.

Netanyahu hopes to be released from Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan in time to take part in votes on the coalition’s controversial judicial reform on Monday or even earlier.

Last Saturday, Netanyahu was rushed to the hospital after reportedly fainting at home. His office made no reference to a loss of consciousness, stating only that the prime minister had felt dizzy. The veteran politician said he had spent the afternoon in the hot Sun at the Sea of Galilee “without a hat, without water,” and advised people to stay out of the Sun and stay hydrated.

Doctors, however, fitted Netanyahu with a heart implant for monitoring cardiac arrhythmia before releasing him from the hospital after undergoing a series of tests. 

The 73-year-old is not known to have any chronic health conditions, and his doctors insist that his heart is in “excellent condition.” However, his office has not released its required annual update on his health since 2016, and the Kan public broadcaster reported that a number of Israeli officials have complained regarding the lack of transparency.