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Israel PM Netanyahu to undergo routine medical examination under sedation

PM Netanyahu will undergo a routine exam under sedation [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 November, 2020

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Israel's Defence Minister Benny Gantz will serve as acting prime minister during Prime Minister Netanyahu's examination.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will undergo a routine examination of his digestive tract on Friday while under sedation, his office said.

Defence Minister Benny Gantz will serve as acting prime minister during this period, it said.

Netanyahu and Gantz are political rivals who battled to a stalemate in three hard-fought elections in less than a year. They formed an emergency unity government earlier this year to combat the coronavirus, but the coalition has been mired in political infighting.

Under the unity agreement, Gantz is to become prime minister next November, but many Israelis expect new elections before then.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday became the first top American diplomat to visit a West Bank Israeli settlement and the disputed Golan Heights, cementing Donald Trump's strongly pro-Israel legacy.

On a farewell tour of the Middle East, Pompeo also said exports from the settlements could now be labelled as "Made in Israel" and described a boycott movement against Israel as a "cancer".

Pompeo held no meetings with Palestinians, who protested his actions and dismissed the visit as the latest sign of the outgoing Trump administration's strong bias against them.

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