Presidential candidate and Labor Party MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer is scheduled to undergo a kidney transplant after Israeli Independence Day on Tuesday.
The 78-year-old politician reportedly had three dialysis treatments this week in the run-up to next week’s operation at an unspecified medical center in central Israel. The procedure was given the green light after a donor was found.
According to a Channel 2 report, the transplant is not expected to affect Ben-Eliezer’s candidacy for the presidency, but his health condition may raise concerns among other MKs who must vote for a successor to President Shimon Peres in next month’s election.
Ben-Eliezer on Saturday confirmed the imminent transplant, said it involved two donors and that one of his sons is one of the donors. He said the surgery was expected to be straightforward, and that it should require only a week of rest and recovery.
Ben-Eliezer, a former defense minister and Labor Party leader, has been considered a leading candidate behind current favorite MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud) who also ran against Peres in the previous round in 2007.
Three years ago Ben-Eliezer was hospitalized with a serious case of influenza, at which time he was hooked up to life support until his condition improved.