Netanyahu Recovering From Surgery

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu underwent successful hernia surgery on Sunday, but will require several days’ rest to make a full recovery, doctors said.

During the overnight procedure, which took an hour and required general anaesthesia, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon temporarily assumed the 63-year-old premier’s powers, Netanyahu’s office.

Yaalon was also slated to head a Cabinet-level meeting on Sunday to select Palestinian security prisoners for release as part of U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations, the second round of which was scheduled for Wednesday in Jerusalem.

Yuval Weiss, director of the Yerushalayim hospital where the surgery took place, said the operation was ordered at short notice to prevent Netanyahu’s condition from deteriorating. Netanyahu’s office said he had been diagnosed after complaining of abdominal pain.

“The prime minister feels well after the operation,” Weiss told Israel Radio. “He is now fully conscious.”

A statement later issued by the Prime Minister’s Bureau said Netanyahu had reassumed his powers of office.

Netanyahu said, “I would like to thank the professional and dedicated medical team who treated me. I would also like to thank all of the citizens who wished me good health.”

Weiss predicted Netanyahu would be released by Sunday evening but said he would require several days of home rest.

“He will be able to hold meetings and discussions at home. He has to be a little limited in terms of physical activity,” he said.