Israel’s Netanyahu to Be Fitted With Pacemaker After Recent Rush to Hospital

Israel’s Netanyahu to Be Fitted With Pacemaker After Recent Rush to Hospital
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) chairs a weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Israel, on July 17, 2023. (Ohad Zwigenberg/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared on Sunday that he will undergo an emergency procedure to receive a pacemaker.

A pacemaker sends electrical pulses to the heart to increase or maintain a person’s heartbeat within the normal range, to allow the heart to pump blood at a normal rate inside the body. The medical device is used when a person’s heart is beating too slowly or to treat heart failure.

The surgery is scheduled overnight between Saturday and Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu said in a video statement released by his office at 2 a.m. local time Sunday.

“A week ago, I was fitted with a monitoring device. That device beeped this evening and said I must receive a pacemaker and that I must do this already tonight,” Netanyahu, 73, said. “I feel great, but I need to listen to my doctors.”

The Israeli prime minister would be placed under sedation for the surgery at Israel’s Sheba Hospital in Tel HaShomer, and a top deputy, Justice Minister Yariv Levin, will stand in for him, Mr. Netanyahu’s office said.

Last week, on July 15, the veteran Israeli leader was admitted to the emergency department after feeling mild dizziness. Initial tests showed Mr. Netanyahu was dehydrated.

When he was discharged on July 16, doctors implanted a device under his skin—referred to as a “subcutaneous Holter”—to monitor his heart activity. The medical center said it was for “routine monitoring” and was a “customary” step.

Judicial Overhaul

Israel continues to face widespread street protests over Mr. Netanyahu’s plan to pass a judicial overhaul. The mass protests, which have played over months, continued Saturday night when tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate against it ahead of a key parliament vote scheduled for Monday.

Netanyahu said his doctors assured him he would be discharged from the hospital on Sunday afternoon and that he expects to head to the parliament ahead of the expected vote on the judicial overhaul. At the same time, he said he hoped to reach an agreement with his opponents.

Mr. Levin is the mastermind of the overhaul plan, which he announced on Jan. 4.

“We go to the ballot box, vote, choose, yet time and again, people we didn’t vote for decide for us,” Mr. Levin stated in his opening remarks at the time. “Many people turn their eyes to the legal system and their voice is not heard.”

Mr. Levin, along with other critics of the high court, says unelected judges have too much power. The controversial bill would limit some of the Supreme Court’s powers.

Critics of judicial changes, however, fear that it aims to curb court independence.

Mr. Netanyahu, whose conservative new government holds a solid parliamentary majority, has described the judicial plans as a restoration of the balance of the three branches of government. On Jan. 13, he signaled flexibility on the reform plan, saying it would be implemented “with careful consideration while hearing all of the positions.”

Mr. Netanyahu is in his record sixth term as prime minister.

Oren Shalom, The Associated Press, and Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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