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Netanyahu in ‘excellent’ health after hernia surgery, hospital says

Originally Published: 31 MAR 24 11:23 ET

Updated: 31 MAR 24 19:54 ET

By Tamar Michaelis, Benjamin Brown and Jessie Gretener, CNN

(CNN) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in “excellent” health following surgery to treat a hernia, according to a statement released Sunday by Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.

The procedure “ended successfully” and Netanyahu is “awake, he is talking to his family, and his situation is perfect,” Alon Pikarsky, the hospital’s director of general surgery, said in an early morning video statement.

Netanyahu, 74, was diagnosed with a hernia during a routine examination on Saturday, his office previously said in a statement. He was placed under anesthesia for the procedure, his office said.

The surgery meant Israel’s leader was temporarily out of action with the nation at war with Hamas in Gaza following the October 7 attacks. Israel’s deputy prime minister and justice minister, Yariv Levin, stepped in for Netanyahu while he was incapacitated.

In a news conference Sunday in Jerusalem ahead of the surgery, Netanyahu said he was optimistic about the results of the procedure and that he will return to work “very quickly.”

“I assure you that I will get through this treatment successfully and return to action very quickly,” Netanyahu said.

The operation took place amid renewed talks between Israel and Hamas in Cairo, according to a report in Egyptian media.

The negotiations to secure the release of the remaining Israeli hostages held by the militant group in exchange for a ceasefire in the conflict that has seen more than 32,000 Gazans killed had reached an impasse last week.

This is Netanyahu’s second surgery since returning to the premiership in late 2022. A health scare last summer ended with the Israeli leader being fitted for a pacemaker to fix a transient heart block.

Netanyahu previously had a hernia in 2013 that also required surgery.

A hernia is a gap in the abdominal muscular wall that allows something inside the abdomen to protrude outward, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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