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Netanyahu hospitalized after feeling unwell during Yom Kippur synagogue service

Opposition leader, 72, staying overnight at Shaare Zedek for observation after series of tests come out normal; tweets that he’s feeling well

Likud party and opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu attends Kikar HaShabbat conference at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Hotel, September 12, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Likud party and opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu attends Kikar HaShabbat conference at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Hotel, September 12, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu was being kept in hospital overnight Wednesday-Thursday for observation, having felt unwell during Yom Kippur synagogue services Wednesday evening.

After checks at the synagogue where he was praying at the end of the fast day, which came out normal, he had himself driven to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

The hospital said late Wednesday that it carried out a series of tests on Netanyahu which also came out normal, and that he was feeling well, and that it had been decided to keep him in overnight for observation.

“Feeling well and thanking everyone for the support and the love,” Netanyahu tweeted on Wednesday night.

He added: “Gmar Hatimah Tovah” (May you be inscribed in the Book of Life), the traditional wish of the High Holiday period.

“Former prime minister Netanyahu arrived independently at Shaare Zedek Medical Center after feeling unwell at the end of the Yom Kippur fast. Immediately on his arrival, he underwent an assessment and a wide-ranging series of tests, all of which came out normal,” the hospital said.

“Former prime minister Netanyahu is feeling well, and after consultations, it was decided that he would stay in the hospital overnight for observation.”

His doctor, Zvi Herman Berkowitz, was quoted in Hebrew media saying he looked “excellent, not even pale.”

According to a statement on behalf of the Likud party leader, Netanyahu, 72, began to feel unwell during the fast day’s final Ne’ila prayer service, at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue. Netanyahu was fasting at the time.

The statement said he underwent a number of checks at the synagogue which came out normal, and that he “felt fine,” but decided of his own volition to go to Shaare Zedek for further examination.

According to an unsourced report from the Kan public broadcaster, Netanyahu suffered from chest pains.

He was driven to the hospital by his driver.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement that he wished Netanyahu a speedy recovery.

Israel goes to its fifth election in less than four years on November 1. Netanyahu is bidding to oust Lapid, having been prime minister for 12 consecutive years from 2009-21.

Yom Kippur began on Tuesday at sundown and ended Wednesday night. Also known as the Day of Atonement, the holiday is marked by a 25-hour fast.

Paramedics annually treat hundreds who faint, are dehydrated, or feel ill due to the fast.

Israel shuts down every year on Yom Kippur, with public transportation, government services and television broadcasters ceasing operations for the duration of the holiday.

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