Internet InfoMedia netanyahu to undergo hernia surgery at critical moment
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel will undergo surgery on Sunday night to treat a hernia, his office said in a statement.

The operation comes at a time when Mr. Netanyahu is under mounting pressure as the war in Gaza drags on and international calls for a cease-fire grow louder.

Mr. Netanyahu’s office said on Sunday that he had been diagnosed with a hernia during a “routine examination” on Saturday night. The prime minister decided in consultation with his doctors to have an operation, it said in a statement, adding that the surgery would take place on Sunday evening “under full anesthesia.”

“Justice Minister Yariv Levin will be temporarily taking over his duties,” the statement said. Mr. Levin is a longtime stalwart in the prime minister’s Likud party.

Mr. Netanyahu — who also underwent surgery for a hernia in 2013 — has come under increasing criticism both on the world stage and at home over how Israel is prosecuting the war in the Gaza Strip. Key allies like the United States have criticized the high civilian death toll and have called on Israel to urgently allow more aid into the enclave.

In Israel, protesters have been demanding that Mr. Netanyahu prioritize the release of hostages held in Gaza and strike a deal for a cease-fire. Israel’s war cabinet is expected to convene later on Sunday to discuss issues around the latest cease-fire negotiations; it was not immediately clear if Mr. Netanyahu would be able to attend.

But just hours before his scheduled surgery, Mr. Netanyahu met in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon with families of soldiers held captive in Gaza, according to his office.

Mr. Netanyahu is also facing sharp criticism from his far-right coalition partners over any indication that he is hesitating in the war against Hamas or in the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

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