Israel's Netanyahu to undergo surgery, peace talks on track

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 10, 2013 5:12 PM
Israel's Netanyahu to undergo surgery, peace talks on track

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will undergo a hernia operation, his office said late on Saturday, a procedure that appeared unlikely to disrupt plans to advance peace talks with the Palestinians next week.

A statement said Netanyahu, 63, would be hospitalized overnight for the surgery after he complained of abdominal pain. The procedure was expected to take an hour and could require general anesthetic, but Netanyahu could be discharged on Sunday afternoon, the statement said.

Netanyahu had been scheduled to convene cabinet ministers on Sunday to finalize the first stage of a release of Palestinian security prisoners designed to foster peace talks revived last month by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The prime minister's office said that while Sunday's routine cabinet session would be postponed, a ministerial committee vetting the prisoner amnesty would still meet, chaired by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

That would likely pave the way for a second round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations scheduled to take place on Wednesday in Jerusalem.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Sandra Maler)