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Israel: Netanyahu underwent pacemaker surgery

July 23, 2023

Netanyahu's health crisis comes just as the Israeli parliament is set to vote on the judicial reforms bill.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyanu looks down
Benjamin Netanyahu is set to undergo a pacemaker implant surgeryImage: Abir Sultan/EPA/AP/dpa/picture alliance

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in a good state of health following an overnight surgery to implant a pacemaker, the Sheba Medical Center said on Sunday.

"He will remain under medical supervision in the cardiology department," the hospital said in a statement.

Netanyahu's latest health crisis comes just as lawmakers are set to debate the judicial reforms bill in parliament on Sunday which will be followed by a vote on Monday.

The controversial bill sparked one of the biggest protest movement's in Israel's history since it was unveiled in January.

Protests against Israel's judicial reform intensify

Netanyahu to be discharged in time to vote for reforms

The Prime Minister had the surgery at the Sheba Medical Center while Deputy Prime Minister Yariv Levin stepped in for him.

A week ago, Neanyahu had been discharged after a night of hospitalization following complaints of dizziness.

Despite finding the leader "in complete cardiac health," doctors implanted a "monitoring device" to continue supervising his health.

An ambulance waits outside the Sheba Medical Centre.
A week ago Netanyahu was hospitalized after complaints of dizziness. Image: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP

"A week ago I had a monitoring device implanted and this device beeped this evening and announced that I needed to get a pacemaker," Netanyahu said in a video posted on his Facebook page.

He added that he will be discharged from the hospital by Sunday afternoon, which is in time to vote for the reforms bill.

Judicial overhaul polarizes Israel

In his sixth term as Prime Minister, Netanyahu is currently facing a domestic crisis with protests surging against his push for judicial changes.

The ruling coalition said the bill was needed to balance out the division of power as the court was intervening too often.

Thousands of Israeli protests marching on a highway
Tens of thousands marched in protest of the judical reforms billImage: Ohad Zwigenberg/AP/dpa/picture alliance

Critics of the bill, however, suggested that the Supreme Court played a crucial role in safeguarding civil rights in a country that has no formal constitution and no upper chamber of parliament.

Those opposing the bill also accuse Netanyahu of using the reforms to quash possible judgment against himself. He is currently on trial for corruption charges which he denies.

Tens of thousands of Israelis marched from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Saturday to protest the planned judicial overhaul that would curtail the powers of the Supreme Court.

The protesters are set to gather outside parliament on Sunday as lawmakers debate the bill.

ns/jcg (AFP, Reuters)