Israeli PM Netanyahu released from hospital after successful hernia surgery

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was released from hospital on Sunday hours after undergoing successful hernia surgery, but doctors said he would require several days' rest to make a full recovery.

During the overnight procedure, which took around an hour and required general anaesthetic, Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon temporarily assumed the 63-year-old Premier's powers, Mr Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

Mr Yaalon was also slated to head a Cabinet-level meeting on Sunday to select Palestinian security prisoners for release as part of United States-sponsored peace negotiations, the second round of which was scheduled to take place on Wednesday in Jerusalem.

Dr Yuval Weiss, director of the Jerusalem hospital where the surgery took place, said the operation was ordered at short notice as a precaution against Mr Netanyahu's condition deteriorating. Mr Netanyahu's office said he had been diagnosed after complaining of abdominal pain.

"The Prime Minister feels well after the operation," Dr Weiss told Israel Radio. "He is now fully conscious."

A statement from Mr Netanyahu's office said he had reassumed his powers of office, and a short time later he was released from the hospital, where a statement quoted him as saying: "I'm feeling fine."

"I continue to constantly look after (Israelis') welfare and security," Mr Netanyahu said.

Dr Weiss said Mr Netanyahu would require several days of home rest.

"He will be able to hold meetings and discussions at home. He has to be a little limited in terms of physical activity," the doctor said.