Prime Minister Netanyahu Hospitalized for Emergency Hernia Surgery

The premier was hospitalized in Jerusalem after suffering from stomach pains and is expected to be released Sunday afternoon. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon served as stand-in prime minister.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underwent a successful emergency hernia operation overnight after being hospitalized Saturday with stomach pains in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. He is recovering and in excellent condition, the hospital reported.

Netanyahu was examined by his personal doctor, Tzvika Berkovitch, and a surgeon, who diagnosed him with an umbilical hernia. The diagnosis was confirmed after Netanyahu, 63, underwent a CT scan, and doctors scheduled him for immediate surgery that took place around 2:30 A.M. local time.

Surgery lasted about an hour and recovery time is two hours. Although the operation was originally expected to be conducted with local anesthesia, doctors decided to use general anesthesia.

As a result of the use of general anesthesia, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon was appointed stand-in prime minister after being approved by a round of phone calls to ministers. All authorities were temporarily passed on to him until Netanyahu was functioning properly again.

Netanyahu is expected to be released from hospital Sunday afternoon. The weekly cabinet meeting Sunday will be delayed for another day. However, the ministerical committee discussion on Palestinian prisoners will take place as scheduled Sunday and be headed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon.