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March 27, 2018 3:39 pm

Netanyahu Spokesman Confirms PM Taken to Hospital for Tests

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu coughs as he addresses a health conference in Tel Aviv, March 27, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was taken to hospital on Tuesday to undergo tests after suffering from a high fever and a cough, his spokesman said.

Netanyahu’s personal physician believes the 68-year-old leader has not fully recovered from an illness two weeks ago and therefore decided he should undergo further tests in hospital, the spokesman said.

Netanyahu fell ill in mid-March and cancelled his public schedule for five consecutive days.

“The prime minister did not complete the time required in order to recover from the illness he had two weeks ago and therefore the symptoms have gotten worse,” the spokesman said in a text message.

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A security cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday will take place as planned, an Israeli official told Reuters. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will fill in for Netanyahu if he is unable to attend.

Netanyahu’s illness has come at a stressful time for the four-times right-wing prime minister, who is under police investigation for corruption in three different cases. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.

On Monday, Netanyahu, his wife and son were questioned by police as part of an investigation into one of the corruption cases in which the prime minister is a suspect.

In the two other cases police have already recommended that Netanyahu be charged with bribery. The final decision about whether to prosecute rests with the Israeli attorney general. That decision could be months away.

So far, partners in Netanyahu’s governing coalition have stood by him, saying they are awaiting the attorney general’s next moves. Political analysts say such support may erode if the investigations against Netanyahu intensify.

Surveys have shown that about half of Israelis believe the police over Netanyahu and think he should step down, while a third think he should remain in office. Support for Netanyahu’s Likud party remains strong in opinion polls.

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