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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underwent a successful operation to implant a pacemaker, according to a statement from his office. The surgical intervention took place amid the imminent Knesset vote on a contentious judicial reform bill.

The Need for Surgery

Netanyahu’s hospitalization was precipitated by a warning from a heart monitor indicating a “transient heart block,” explained Eyal Nof, head of Invasive Electrophysiology Service at the Sheba Medical Center. This condition can cause the heart to beat slowly or skip beats, leading to symptoms like dizziness and fatigue. According to Cleveland Clinic, a pacemaker implantation is a common treatment for this condition.

According to the statement, the surgery was carried out at Tel Hashomer Hospital, with the Prime Minister under sedation. While Netanyahu was in surgery, Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister Yariv Levin assumed his duties.

Health History and Recent Developments

This development followed Netanyahu’s admission to Sheba Medical Center a week prior due to dehydration. During this stay, he was also fitted with a subcutaneous heart monitor.

Despite his office attributing his symptoms to dizziness, Sheba Medical Center’s Dr. Roy Beinart disclosed that the Prime Minister had fainted before his previous hospitalization. Netanyahu’s fainting episode, along with the subsequent diagnosis, led to the decision for immediate pacemaker implantation.

The Aftermath and The Prime Minister’s Sentiment

In a post-surgery video statement, the Prime Minister appeared to be in high spirits. “I want to update you on what’s going to happen,” he said. “I feel great, but I listen to my doctors.” He added that he was scheduled to be discharged the following afternoon, just in time for the Knesset vote.

Unrest and Controversy Surrounding Judicial Reforms

Netanyahu’s surgery occurred amidst significant controversy and unrest. The upcoming Knesset vote on the judicial reform bill, which could strip the Supreme Court of the power to declare government decisions as “unreasonable,” has sparked extensive protests across the country. Critics fear that the reform could undermine judicial independence, while Netanyahu maintains that it would balance the branches of government.

Given the timing of Netanyahu’s surgery and the controversy surrounding the reform, the Israeli leader’s health and the potential political implications are set to remain under close scrutiny in the coming days.

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