Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu leaves hospital ahead of key vote on controversial judicial reform
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was admitted to the Sheba Medical Centre in the capital on Saturday night. He has now been discharged from the facility after undergoing emergency surgery to fit a pacemaker.
His hospitalisation came ahead of a key vote expected in parliament on Monday on controversial judicial reform plans. Following the surgery, Netanyahu could be heard saying in a video he was in “excellent health” and planned to be in parliament for the vote.
Critics Fear Changes Will Undermine Israel’s Democracy
Massive demonstrations against the changes have rocked Israel in recent weeks, with a number of workers promising to strike if the reform goes ahead. The vote will be a crucial showdown between the political coalition and Israeli society.
On Sunday, parliament started debating the bill to limit the Supreme Court’s powers. While supporters of the reform have accused judges of making politically-based decisions, critics worry the changes will undermine Israel’s democracy.
Scores of people have expressed their worries over Netanyahu – who currently faces corruption charges – potentially pushing the judicial reform to address his own legal challenges. The politician, however, strongly denies such accusations.
Threat To Operational Capability Of Israel’s Military
If the law passes, thousands of military reservists, including hundreds of air force pilots, could launch a mass boycott of service duty. Expressing frustration at the plans, Eyal Nave from Brothers in Arms, which represents 10,000 reservists, said: “This is where we draw the line.”
“We pledged to serve the kingdom and not the king,” Nave said. This is being seen as one of the most vital moments in the protest movement so far, as a boycott on such a large scale would substantially affect the operational capability of Israel’s military.