Netanyahu undergoes routine colonoscopy, has 2 polyps removed

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was sedated as he underwent a colonoscopy Friday morning, with Defense Minister Benny Gantz serving briefly as acting premier.

Two small polyps found in Netanyahu’s colon during the exam at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center were removed, according to a statement from his office.

“The prime minister’s health is excellent and he has returned to full activity,” the statement said.

Netanyahu, who is 71, also underwent a series of other tests, including for cholesterol, blood pressure and the functioning of his liver and kidneys, all of which were normal, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

It added that the premier is continuing to be monitored by an otolaryngologist for periodic nasal congestion.

“In summary, the prime minister’s health condition is excellent,” the statement said, citing Netanyahu’s personal physician.

Netanyahu’s office stressed the checkup was routine.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the inauguration of the new emergency room at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon on February 20, 2018. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Gantz, who also holds the post of acting prime minister, filled in for Netanyahu while he was under sedation.

In recent years, Netanyahu has appointed various ministers from his Likud party to take the reins while he was abroad or undergoing medical exams, having never named a permanent designated deputy since returning to the Prime Minister’s Office in 2009.

However, after Netanyahu and Gantz agreed to form a government earlier this year following three straight inconclusive elections, the rivals signed a power-sharing deal creating the post of alternate prime minister, with the two trading off as premier.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset plenum on August 24, 2020. (Knesset Spokesperson’s Office)

Under the coalition deal, Gantz is slated to become prime minister on November 17, 2021, but exactly a year to the day before then, both he and Netanyahu expressed doubt about that prospect and few politicians or analysts seem to believe that the transfer will go ahead.

The coalition deal was supposed to block loopholes Netanyahu could use to avoid handing over power, and stipulated that if Netanyahu dissolves the government before his tenure ends, Gantz automatically becomes interim prime minister.

One loophole remains, however: If the government falls due to failure to pass the state budget, Netanyahu retains the premiership.

Now the prime minister is refusing to follow through on the coalition deal’s stipulation that a budget be approved this year for both 2020 and 2021. He has been accused of using the budget as leverage, while charging that Gantz has been violating the coalition agreement himself.

When the rotation agreement was signed, Netanyahu said on primetime TV that he would honor the deal with Gantz “without any tricks.”

Source Link: https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-undergoes-routine-colonoscopy-has-2-polyps-removed/

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