Israel’s Netanyahu discharged after night in hospital

Israeli PM’s office says Netanyahu’s test results were normal after he was rushed to hospital on Saturday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [File: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been discharged after an overnight hospital stay for check-ups and monitoring following a dizzy spell.

Netanyahu, 73, was rushed to Sheba Medical Center on Saturday after feeling mild dizziness. His office said he had left the hospital about midday on Sunday after stating earlier that his test results were normal and that he was feeling “very good”.

According to Dr Amit Segev, Sheba’s head of cardiology, Netanyahu had “completed a series of tests and is in excellent condition”.

“Our diagnosis, at the end of all the tests performed, including the laboratory tests, is that the reason for the hospitalisation was dehydration,” he said in a video statement.

As part of the cardiological tests, Sheba decided to use “a subcutaneous [implanted] Holter” on Netanyahu to “continue regular monitoring” of his heart, Segev said.

Netanyahu’s office said he had spent the previous day at the Sea of Galilee, a popular vacation spot in northern Israel where temperatures climbed to about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) amid a stifling countrywide heatwave. After a series of tests, the initial assessment was that the veteran Israeli leader was dehydrated.

After being hospitalised, Netanyahu released a video on social media last night. Smiling, he said he had been out in the sun on Friday without wearing a hat and without water. “Not a good idea,” he said.

Doctors ordered him to remain in the hospital overnight for further observation. Israel’s weekly cabinet meeting, usually held on Sundays, has been postponed to Monday, his office said.

Netanyahu is said to be in generally good health, though he was briefly hospitalised last October after feeling unwell during prayers on Yom Kippur, a day when observant Jews fast.

Moreover, he is on trial for multiple corruption charges in a case that has bitterly divided the nation. His government’s hardline policies towards Palestinians have drawn international criticism and antagonised relations with the United States, Israel’s closest and most important ally.

At home, tens of thousands of Israelis have held weekly demonstrations against Netanyahu’s government to protest against his plan to overhaul the country’s judiciary.

Netanyahu’s allies say the plan is needed to rein in the power of unelected judges. But his opponents say the plan will destroy the country’s fragile system of checks and balances and concentrate power in the hands of Netanyahu and his allies.

Source: News Agencies