Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu makes a statement at Palmachim Air Force Base near Rishon Lezion city, Israel, July 5, 2023.
Amir Cohen | Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Saturday that he was feeling “very well” after being rushed to hospital for likely dehydration, doctors said.
But doctors ordered an overnight hospital stay for further observation and the weekly cabinet meeting was postponed by a day to Monday, the prime minister’s office said.
Netanyahu’s office said he was hospitalized after feeling mildly dizzy. The newspaper said he spent the previous day in the heat on the Sea of Galilee, a popular holiday destination in northern Israel, after a series of tests led to an initial diagnosis that the veteran Israeli leader was dehydrated. It says.
Late Saturday, a smiling Netanyahu issued a video statement from the hospital, saying he was out in the sun on Friday without wearing a hat or drinking water. “It’s not a good idea,” he said.
“Thank God I feel so good,” he added, thanking the medical team at Shiva Hospital in Israel and thanking the public for their messages of support.
He said he had “one request”, asking people to drink water and stay out of the sun.
Israel is in the midst of a summer heat wave, with temperatures in the mid-30s Celsius (mid-90s Fahrenheit).
Prime Minister Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving leader. He served multiple terms and served more than 15 years. His current far-right government, a conglomeration of religious and ultranationalist parties, was launched last December.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is said to be in generally good health, but he fell ill during Yom Kippur prayers in October last year and was temporarily hospitalized.
Israeli leaders face pressure on multiple fronts.
He is on trial for multiple corruption charges in a case that has sharply divided the country. The administration’s hardline policy toward Palestinians has drawn international criticism and has soured relations with Israel’s closest and most important ally, the United States.
Inside the country, tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrate each week to protest Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plans to overhaul the judicial system.
Netanyahu’s supporters say the plan is necessary to curb the power of unelected judges. Opponents, however, argue that the plan would destroy the country’s fragile system of checks and balances and concentrate power in the hands of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his allies.
Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid issued a statement wishing Prime Minister Netanyahu a “complete recovery and good health.”
“I feel better,” Rapid said on Twitter.