July 16, 2023 -JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday declared that he feels “very good” after he was rushed to the hospital for what doctors said likely was dehydration.
But doctors ordered him to remain in the hospital overnight for further observation, and his weekly Cabinet meeting was delayed by a day and rescheduled for Monday, his office said.
Netanyahu’s office said he was hospitalized after feeling mild dizziness. It said that he had spent the previous day in the heat at the Sea of Galilee, a popular vacation spot in northern Israel, and that after a series of tests, the initial assessment was that the veteran Israeli leader was dehydrated.
Later on Saturday, a smiling Netanyahu issued a video statement from the hospital, saying that he had been out in the sun on Friday without wearing a hat and without water. “Not a good idea,” he said.
“Thank God, I feel very good,” he added, thanking the medical team at Israel’s Sheba Hospital and thanking the public for messages of support.
He said he had “one request” — that people 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).
Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving leader. He has served multiple terms stretching over 15 years in office. His current far-right government, a collection of religious and ultranationalist parties, took office last December
Netanyahu is said to be in generally good health, though he was briefly hospitalized last October after feeling unwell during prayers on Yom Kippur, a day when observant Jews fast.
The Israeli leader faces pressure on multiple fronts.
He is on trial for multiple corruption charges in a case that has bitterly divided the nation. His government’s hard-line policies toward Palestinians have drawn international criticism and antagonized relations with the United States, Israel’s closest and most important ally.
At home, tens of thousands of Israelis have held weekly demonstrations against Netanyahu’s government to protest his plan to overhaul the country’s judiciary.
Netanyahu’s allies say the plan is needed to rein in the power of unelected judges. But his opponents say the plan will destroy the country’s fragile system of checks and balances and concentrate power in the hands of Netanyahu and his allies.
Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid issued a statement wishing Netanyahu a “full recovery and good health.”