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Rivlin undergoes medical checks after ‘irregular’ back pain

Outgoing president, 81, will undergo further tests and receive medicine, his office says

President Reuven Rivlin meets with the Yesh Atid party at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, April 5, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
President Reuven Rivlin meets with the Yesh Atid party at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, April 5, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

President Reuven Rivlin has undergone medical examinations at a Jerusalem hospital due to “irregular” back pain he has experienced in recent days, his office said on Tuesday.

The 81-year-old outgoing president will receive medicine and undergo further medical checkups at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, his office said.

Rivlin’s ailment comes seven weeks before he is set to vacate his office after a seven-year term, during which time he experienced no major health disturbances.

In recent weeks, Rivlin — whose role is mostly ceremonial — has been intensively engaged in coalition-building efforts, tapping first Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid with attempting to form a government after the country’s fourth election in two years. Netanyahu failed to form a coalition and Lapid, too, appears to have no clear path to a government.

The parliamentary vote for Israel’s next president will be held on June 2, just over a month before Rivlin’s term elapses on July 9.

Those interested in running have until Wednesday to collect the signatures of at least ten Knesset members in order to file their candidacy.

Thus far, former Likud MK Yehudah Glick, former Labor minister Shimon Shitrit and former Labor MK Michael Bar-Zohar have announced their plans to run, but are considered long-shots.

Former Labor leader and current Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog and Israel Prize winner Miriam Peretz are also in the running, and are seen as likelier candidates, with Herzog the favorite.

Herzog is the son of Israel’s sixth president, Chaim Herzog. Peretz, an educator and activist, became a prominent public figure after losing two soldier sons in battles in Lebanon and Gaza.

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