Netanyahu, 69, undergoes medical check under sedation, briefly replaced by Elkin
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Netanyahu, 69, undergoes medical check under sedation, briefly replaced by Elkin

Prime minister given ‘routine test of his digestive tract’ overseen by his personal physician Tzvi Berkovich

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jewish federation's annual General Assembly in Tel Aviv, on October 24, 2018 (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jewish federation's annual General Assembly in Tel Aviv, on October 24, 2018 (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underwent a “routine test of his digestive tract” while under sedation on Friday morning, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

While he was incapacitated, Netanyahu’s duties were handed over to Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who served as acting prime minister.

The medical examination, carried out by Shaare Zedek Hospital’s head of gastroenterology, Prof. Eran Goldin, and anesthesiologist Prof. Yaakov Gozal, was overseen by Netanyahu’s personal physician Tzvi Berkovich.

After the test, the prime minister’s office said his health was “excellent” and he has returned to duty.

Netanyahu is 69 years old. In May 2017 he underwent a minor procedure under anesthesia at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital “to crush a stone in the bladder,” according to the PMO at the time.

Then, too, Elkin served as acting PM.

In December 2015, Netanyahu underwent an exploratory colonoscopy, also under sedation, leaving then-defense minister Moshe Ya’alon in charge. The tests revealed a number of polyps which were successfully removed, his office said at the time.

In 2013, the prime minister also underwent an emergency hernia operation, and a similar colonoscopy in 2014 as part of his annual health examination, the results of which were released to the public.

In general, his doctor has said he is in “excellent” health and maintains a “healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits.”

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