Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to undergo surgery for hernia under full sedation

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced he will be fully sedated to undergo surgery for a hernia.

The operation will take place after a meeting of his war cabinet this evening, his office has announced.

The hernia was discovered during a routine check-up last night.

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Protests in Jerusalem; injuries after 'terror attack'

Justice Minister Yariv Levin, who is also deputy prime minister and a close confidant of Mr Netanyahu, will fill his role temporarily during the procedure.

Mr Netanyahu will be having the operation as thousands of Israelis are expected to rally to show their frustration with his government and urge him to resign.

And Ehud Barak, a former prime minister of Israel, told Sky News this weekend that he agreed with the protesters and felt Mr Netanyahu should quit.

The 74-year-old previously underwent a hernia operation in 2013 and had a pacemaker fitted last year.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Mr Netanyahu said he would be "back very soon" after his surgery and repeated his defiant message that Israel would destroy Hamas.

The Israeli prime minister promised the planned operation in Rafah would go ahead, regardless of international objections, including from Washington, saying that it was "the only way to defeat Hamas". Scores of refugees have sheltered in the city in southern Gaza, after fleeing violence elsewhere in the territory.

Mr Netanyahu added that he was doing everything he could to bring hostages seized by Hamas on 7 October back to Israel, and claimed that the recent Israeli strike on al Shifa hospital had "killed more than 200 terrorists".

It comes after two Palestinians were killed and 15 injured in an Israeli air strike on a tent camp inside a hospital in central Gaza.

The strike hit one of several tents in the courtyard of Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al Balah, where thousands have been sheltering for months after fleeing Israeli bombardments elsewhere.

Israel's military later said it carried out an airstrike against a command centre operated by the armed group Islamic Jihad and killed a senior militant, but did not mention his name or rank.

"The command centre and terrorists were struck precisely, intended on minimising harm to uninvolved civilians in the area of the hospital," the military said.

It added: "The Al Aqsa hospital building was not damaged and its functioning was not affected."

Israel argues hospitals in Gaza are used by Hamas and other militant groups as bases and has raided a number of hospitals.

Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry said at least 32,782 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the war. The ministry's count does not differentiate between civilians and fighters, but it has said women and children make up around two-thirds of those killed.

Israel says over one-third of the dead are militants, though it has not provided evidence in support, and blames Hamas for civilian casualties because the group operates in residential areas.

Some 1,200 people, mostly Israelis, were killed when Hamas rampaged into southern Israel on 7 October and kidnapped some 250 others.

Earlier this week the World Court unanimously ordered Israel, which is accused by South Africa of genocide in Gaza, to take all necessary and effective action to ensure basic food supplies reach the territory's population, which is teetering on the brink of famine.

It comes as Egypt hosted an Israeli delegation for a new round of ceasefire talks, though there is little expectation of any breakthrough.