POLITICS & ELECTIONS

Netanyahu to have hernia surgery under full anesthesia, deputy PM to temporarily step in

Mar 31, 2024, 12:54 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, here on February 18, will have surgery under full anesth...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, here on February 18, will have surgery under full anesthesia for a hernia. (Ronen Zvulun, Reuters)

(Ronen Zvulun, Reuters)

(CNN)Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have surgery under full anesthesia for a hernia, his office said in a statement.

Netanyahu, 74, was diagnosed with a hernia during a routine examination on Saturday and is scheduled to undergo the surgery at the end of business on Sunday, the statement read.

The surgery means Israel’s leader will be temporarily out of action with the nation at war with Hamas in Gaza following the October 7 attacks.

Israel’s deputy prime minister and justice minister, Yariv Levin, will step in for Netanyahu while he is incapacitated.

In a news conference Sunday in Jerusalem ahead of the surgery, Netanyahu said he is optimistic about the results of the procedure and that he will return to work “very quickly.”

“I assure you that I will get through this treatment successfully and return to action very quickly,” Netanyahu said.

The operation will take place amid renewed talks between Israel and Hamas in Cairo, according to a report in Egyptian media.

The negotiations to secure the release of the remaining Israeli hostages held by the militant group in exchange for a ceasefire in the conflict that has seen more than 32,000 Gazans killed had reached an impasse last week.

This is Netanyahu’s second surgery since returning to the premiership in late 2022. A health scare last summer ended with the Israeli leader being fitted for a pacemaker to fix a transient heart block.

Netanyahu previously had a hernia in 2013 that also required surgery.

A hernia is a gap in the abdominal muscular wall that allows something inside the abdomen to protrude outward, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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Netanyahu to have hernia surgery under full anesthesia, deputy PM to temporarily step in