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Jerusalem hospital says Netanyahu recovering from hernia surgery

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is recovering from a successful hernia surgery Monday, according to the Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.

The surgery went “as expected and successfully,” and the prime minister was “awake and talking to his family,” said Alon Pikarsky, the hospital’s director of general surgery, in a video statement Monday morning.

Netanyahu, 74, was placed under full anesthesia and his duties were filled by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Yariv Levi, his office said in an initial statement Sunday.

“In consultation with his doctors, it was decided that tonight, at the end of the agenda, the Prime Minister will arrive at the hospital for hernia surgery,” the prime minister’s office wrote.

The hernia was discovered during a routine checkup the night before, according to his office.

In a press conference before the surgery on Sunday, Netanyahu indicated he was optimistic about the surgery and vowed to return to work “very soon,” according to a translation from MSNBC.

In July, Netanyahu underwent surgery to install an emergency pacemaker, and doctors confirmed he had a chronic heart condition.

The hernia surgery comes at a critical moment for the prime minister, who faced massive anti-government protests over the weekend. Tens of thousands of Israelis touched down on central Jerusalem, calling for Netanyahu to reach a cease-fire with Hamas to free the hostages in Gaza and to have early elections, The Associated Press reported.

Protestors accused him of only working in his private interests and damaging relations with the United States, a key ally of Israel, the news service added.

Netanyahu responded to the calls for new elections on Sunday, arguing they would “paralyze” Israel for at least six to eight months.

“They will paralyze the negotiations for the release of our hostages and in the end will lead to ending the war before achieving its goals and the first to commend this will be Hamas, and that says it all,” he said.

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