Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was rushed to hospital early Sunday for surgery to implant a pacemaker, casting fresh uncertainty over his government’s deeply controversial plan to pass a law on Monday to limit judicial power.

Doctors at the Sheba Medical Center, east of Tel Aviv, said Sunday morning that the unexpected operation was successful and that “the prime minister is doing very well.” But Mr. Netanyahu was expected to remain hospitalized until at least Monday, a hospital spokesman said.

The government’s weekly cabinet meeting, originally scheduled for Sunday morning, was postponed until Monday, and it was unclear whether a vote in parliament on the judicial review would go ahead on Monday as planned.

Mr. Netanyahu’s surgery came amid what many consider Israel’s worst domestic crisis since its founding 75 years ago.

The prime minister was hospitalized hours after an unusual rise in street protests, threats of labor strikes and warnings from thousands of army reservists that they would refuse to volunteer for military duty if the judicial review went ahead. However, Mr Netanyahu’s government appeared determined to go ahead with the plan on Sunday, even after his hospitalisation.

On Sunday morning, Parliament began a debate before a final vote on a bill that would prevent the Supreme Court from using the grounds of reason to overturn government decisions or appointments. The debate was expected to last 26 hours.

Before the debate began, thousands of people gathered at the Western Wall, a Jewish holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City, and held a mass prayer for national unity as public figures made last-ditch efforts to persuade the government to reach some consensus on the bill with the opposition.

But the political rift only deepened when Mr. Netanyahu’s allies declared that the legislation would be passed with or without a deal. And larger street protests – both for and against the judicial review – were planned later in the day.

The turmoil piled pressure on Mr. Netanyahu. A group of former army chiefs, police commissioners and secret service directors accused him on Saturday night of dividing the country and endangering its security by promoting the judicial review plan.

Mr. Netanyahu’s government wants to limit the ways in which the Supreme Court can overturn government decisions. The prime minister said the plan would improve democracy by giving elected lawmakers greater autonomy from unelected judges.

But opponents say it will remove a key check on government overreach in a country that lacks a formal constitution and allow Mr. Netanyahu’s far-right ruling coalition — the most ultraconservative and ultranationalist in Israeli history — to create a less pluralistic society.

Critics also fear that Mr. Netanyahu, who is currently on trial for corruption, could use a weakened Supreme Court to push through other changes that could undermine his prosecution. Mr. Netanyahu denies both the corruption allegations and any claim that he would use his position to disrupt the trial.

Demonstrations against the review entered their 29th straight week on Saturday night, as tens of thousands marched into Jerusalem from the mountains outside the city, blocking parts of a major highway with a sea of ​​blue-and-white Israeli flags. Some walked for five days after leaving Tel Aviv, about 40 miles away, on Tuesday night.

Protesters also set up a tent city in a park below the Parliament building in Jerusalem.

After a late-night emergency meeting, the country’s main union said it was considering a general strike, in rare coordination with the country’s largest alliance of business leaders. And a group representing 10,000 Army reservists said its members would resign from military duty if the review went ahead without social consent – adding their names to a smaller group of 1,000 Air Force reservists who made a similar threat on Friday.

The reservists’ warnings raised fears within the defense establishment about Israel’s military preparedness. The Israel Defense Forces, or IDF, is very dependent on reservists, especially the air force.

Citing these fears, a group of 15 retired army chiefs, former police commissioners and former directors of the foreign and domestic intelligence agencies wrote a public letter to Mr. Netanyahu on Saturday night, calling him “the person directly responsible for the serious damage to the IDF and Israel’s security.”

Hours later, the prime minister began to experience an irregularity in his heart. It was detected by a heart-monitoring device fitted at Sheba less than a week ago, after Mr Netanyahu was rushed to the hospital after what one of the doctors at the hospital described on Sunday as a fainting episode.

At the time, Mr. Netanyahu’s office said he had experienced mild dizziness, and doctors said he was suffering from dehydration after being out in the sun during a heat wave. But he was kept in the hospital overnight, underwent tests in the heart department and left with an implanted heart monitor.

The data from the device was “an indication for urgent implantation of a pacemaker,” according to Professor Roy Beinart, the director of Sheba’s rhythm and pacing section. Pacemakers are usually inserted into the chest through a small incision and are designed to regulate a person’s heartbeat and prevent problems that could end in cardiac arrest.

Gabby Sobelman contributed reporting from Rehovot, Israel.

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