Benny Gantz undergoes back surgery at Sheba Medical Center

Blue and White leader is expected to stay at the hospital for up to a week

Defense Minister Benny Gantz before entering surgery, August 12, 2020 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz before entering surgery, August 12, 2020
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz underwent back surgery at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer on Wednesday morning. The procedure took several hours and was successful.
Gantz arrived at the hospital on Tuesday for a consultation concerning a serious back injury he has suffered from for years and that recently worsened. The injury was caused during his military service.
The decision to operate was made due to his worsening condition.
“I know Gantz from our time serving in the military in paratroopers and have monitored the back injury he suffers from for years,” said Dr. Moshe Levinkoff, director of the orthopedic department at Sheba.
“This is a surgery to fix the back vertebrae and release the nerve roots following many years of injury,” said Dr. Alon Friedlander, director of the back surgery unit in the orthopedic department at Sheba. “The surgery was done successfully and as planned. We expect Defense Minister Benny Gantz to quickly return to his role completely.”
On Wednesday, the Knesset voted on a bill that would prevent anyone indicted of serious crimes from forming a government and a bill to extend the state budget deadline. Gantz could not attend either vote.
The cabinet approved Minister in the Defense Ministry Michael Biton (Blue and White) as Gantz’s temporary replacement.
Gantz is expected to be hospitalized for up to a week. He will have access to devices that enable him to work from his hospital room.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Gantz to wish him good luck and good health, a Likud spokesman said. Opposition leader Yair Lapid wished Gantz a speedy recovery and good health.
Gantz sent a WhatsApp message to his faction members and told them the surgery went well.
“I wish to update you that everything is fine, and I feel great. I am relieved,” he wrote.
Gantz also spoke to Cabinet Secretariat Tzahi Braverman and told him that he will be resuming his responsibilities and returning to work soon.
Tobias Siegal contributed to this report.