Former Israel PM Netanyahu Hospitalized Weeks Before Election

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been hospitalized after feeling chest pains while attending synagogue services during the Jewish fasting day of Yom Kippur.

According to Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, the 72-year-old former PM was transported to Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek hospital after he became ill while at the synagogue. Netanyahu reportedly drove himself to the hospital.

The hospital reportedly told local media that Netanyahu underwent a series of tests and was kept under observation overnight, though the tests came back normal.

Netanyahu released a statement on social media, writing: “I feel better and thank everyone for the support and love.”

His office also released a statement, which read: “The former prime minister began to feel unwell in the synagogue during prayers. He underwent a series of tests at the scene that came back normal and is now feeling better. In order to be certain, Netanyahu went to the hospital independently.”

Netanyahu’s health scare comes less than a month before Israel’s fifth national election in less than four years, which will occur on November 1.

According to recent opinion polls, the former prime minister’s Likud party will likely finish first — though it is so far unclear whether allied parties will gain enough seats to allow Netanyahu to form a majority coalition government within the parliament.

Netanyahu’s political rival, Prime Minister Yair Lapid, wished his opponent “a speedy and full recovery” in a statement.

Some have speculated that Netanyahu’s hospitalization may have been related to the 25-hour fast associated with Yom Kippur, the annual Day of Atonement on the Jewish calendar.

The former prime minister was voted out of office in 2021 after being the longest serving prime minister in Israeli history. Netanyahu served two separate terms in the position, from 1996 to 1999 and again from 2009 to 2021.