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Netanyahu undergoes pacemaker surgery amid continued judicial overhaul crisis

Justice Minister Yariv Levin, who is leading the judicial overhaul, was acting prime minister during the Netanyahu's operation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a government conference at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on January 29, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underwent surgery to receive a pacemaker at Sheba Medical Center outside of Tel Aviv late on Saturday, the Prime Minister’s Office announced.

The prime minister stressed ahead of the implant procedure that he was feeling well.

"I feel great, but I'm listening to my doctors," Netanyahu said in a public video message on social media.

"The doctors said I'll be released from the hospital tomorrow by the afternoon and I'll be able to arrive at the Knesset for the vote," the premier added, referring to the vote on the Reasonableness Standard Bill which is set to begin this on Sunday morning.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin, who is leading the judicial overhaul, stepped in as acting prime minister during Netanyahu’s surgery.

Hospital officials announced on Sunday that the surgery was successful and the prime minister was recovering well.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid, a vocal critic of Netanyahu, wished the prime minister good health. He also stressed the need to 'heal' Israeli society, referring to the current judicial reform crisis that has paralyzed Israel for the past six months.

"I am sending wishes of good health to the prime minister this morning. These are difficult times for the State of Israel, but it's not too late to bring healing to Israeli society as well," Lapid tweeted.

Netanyahu was admitted to the hospital last weekend after feeling dizzy and reportedly fainting following a tour of the Sea of Galilee region in northern Israel with his wife, Sara. Over the last several weeks, much of the Mediterranean region has been experiencing extremely hot temperatures due to the "Kleon" heatwave. 

While Netanyahu blamed the incident on dehydration, the medical team implanted a subcutaneous Holter heart monitoring device in the prime minister’s chest to continue routine follow-up care. This has raised speculations concerning Netanyahu’s health and ability to steer the Israeli ship amid the current judicial overhaul crisis.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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