Israel’s Netanyahu taken to hospital for heart procedure

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said early Sunday that he would go to the hospital for emergency treatment to put in a pacemaker, but vowed to push ahead with a controversial judicial reform plan.

In a short videotaped statement released at 2 a.m., Netanyahu said he was fitted with monitoring equipment after a brief hospital stay last week after the prime minister’s office announced he was dehydrated. He said the machine’s alarm went off on Saturday night, meaning he needed a pacemaker immediately.

“I feel very well, but I listen to doctors a lot,” he said.

Netanyahu’s office said in a brief statement that it would put the Israeli leader under sedation. Deputy top Justice Minister Yariv Levin was to replace him.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office made the announcement as Israel faces widespread street protests over Netanyahu’s controversial judicial reform plan. The plan sparked months of protests, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets to protest against it ahead of a pivotal parliamentary vote on Monday night.

Levin is the mastermind behind the overhaul plan.

Netanyahu’s office said he will be fitted with a pacemaker at Israel’s Shiva Hospital, where he was treated last week.

Netanyahu said he expects to leave hospital on Sunday and head to the Knesset, ahead of a scheduled vote on his review.

At the same time, he said he hoped to reach an agreement with the opposition.

Pacemakers are used when a patient’s heart beats too slowly and can cause fainting, according to the National Institutes of Health. It can also be used to treat heart failure. This device sends electrical pulses to the heart to increase or maintain a person’s heart rate in a normal rhythm, allowing the heart to pump blood through the body at a normal rate.

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