Israel’s Netanyahu in hospital after getting pacemaker amid judicial reform turmoil | CBC News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was fitted with a pacemaker on Sunday after experiencing a heart arrhythmia, and was under observation in the cardiac ward of a Tel Aviv-area hospital, his doctors said.

“The implant went smoothly without any complications. He is not in a life-threatening condition and he feels great and is returning to his daily routine,” said Roy Beinart, who manages the arrhythmia program at Sheba Medical Center.

Netanyahu had been given a heart monitor a week ago after being hospitalized for what he said was dehydration from holidaying at the Sea of Galilee without properly protecting himself from a heat wave.

The 73-year-old leader was summoned urgently on Saturday night after a “temporary arrhythmia” was detected, Beinart said.

Before the implant, a smiling Netanyahu recorded a video declaring: “I feel great, but I need to listen to my doctors.”

Netanyahu’s office said on Sunday he was expected to be discharged later in the day. Meanwhile the weekly cabinet meeting was postponed.

6th term as PM

He faces a domestic crisis in his record sixth term as prime minister, with protests surging against his religious-nationalist coalition’s push for judicial changes.

Tens of thousands of Israelis marched to Jerusalem on Saturday, hoping to drum up support against the judicial overhaul. They rallied outside parliament ahead of Monday’s vote on a bill that would limit some of the Supreme Court’s powers.

Critics fear the judicial changes aim to curb court independence by Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, which he denies. Netanyahu says the reforms would balance out branches of government.

The furor has contributed to strains in relations with the United States, as have surging Israeli-Palestinian violence and progress in Iran’s nuclear program.

Demonstrators wave Israeli flags as they march past cars on a highway.
Demonstrators protesting proposed judicial reforms wave Israeli flags as they march past cars on a highway near the town of Mevasseret Zion, Israel, on Saturday. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

Washington has urged Netanyahu to seek broad agreements over any judicial reforms. In his video, Netanyahu suggested that last-minute agreements could be reached.

First elected to top office in 1996, Netanyahu has been both dynamic and polarizing. He spearheaded a free-market revolution in Israel while showing distrust of internationally backed peacemaking with the Palestinians and negotiations by world powers to cap Iran’s nuclear program.

In early October, a few weeks before winning a national election, Netanyahu fell ill during the Jewish fast of Yom Kippur and was briefly hospitalized.

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