Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he felt “great relief”.
JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Saturday that he was feeling “great relief” after being hospitalized for what doctors said was likely dehydration.
But doctors ordered him to stay in hospital overnight for further monitoring, and his weekly cabinet meeting was postponed by a day and rescheduled for Monday, his office said.
Netanyahu’s office said he was taken to hospital after feeling slightly dizzy. He had spent the previous day out in the heat on the Sea of Galilee, a popular vacation spot in northern Israel, she said, and after a series of tests the initial assessment was that the veteran Israeli leader was dehydrated.
Later on Saturday, a smiling Netanyahu released a video statement from the hospital, saying he went out in the sun on Friday without a hat and without water. “Not a good idea,” he said.
He added, “Thank God, I feel very well,” thanking the medical team at the Israeli Sheba Hospital and thanking the public for their 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 reaching the mid 30s Celsius (mid 90s Fahrenheit).
Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving leader. He has served multiple terms spanning more than 15 years in office. His current far-right government, a consortium of religious and ultra-nationalist parties, took power last December.
Netanyahu is said to be in generally good health, although he was briefly hospitalized last October after feeling unwell during prayers on Yom Kippur, a day when religious Jews fast.
The Israeli leader faces pressure on multiple fronts.
He is being tried on multiple charges of corruption in a case that divided the nation bitterly. His government’s hardline policies toward the 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 held weekly demonstrations against Netanyahu’s government to protest his plan to reform the country’s judicial system.
Netanyahu’s allies say the plan is needed to curb the power of unelected judges. But his opponents say the plan would destroy the country’s fragile system of checks and balances and centralize 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”.
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