Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin collapsed with fatigue in the Knesset and was rushed to hospital on Monday (30 June) as his Government was fighting a successful parliamentary battle for survival.
SV: Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin walking across the floor of the Knesset and taking his place at desk.
GV PAN: Ambulance with police escort driving quickly away from Knesset PAN BACK TO Knesset building
GV: Ambulance arrives at Hadassah Hospital
GV: Begin wheeled into hospital on trolley
Hadassah Hospital Jerusalem
GV: Knesset members listening to speaker ZOOM IN TO empty chair at Begin's desk. (3 shots)
SV AND GV: Speaker at the Knesset making an announcement and Knesset members leaving (2 shots)
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Background: Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin collapsed with fatigue in the Knesset and was rushed to hospital on Monday (30 June) as his Government was fighting a successful parliamentary battle for survival.
SYNOPSIS: Mr Begin's three years in office have been regularly punctuated by illness which at times looked serious. He has had four bouts of heart trouble and one mild stroke. The sixty six-year-old leader collapsed while the Knesset was debating a resolution calling for the Government to step down.
Mr Begin retired to his office where after hurried consultation with doctors, he was driven off to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital by ambulance. The night before, Mr Begin had stayed up until one in the morning dancing at a Barmitzvah, the Jewish ceremony celebrating a teenage boy's attainment of manhood. In recent weeks as the challenges of his office have multiplied there has been widespread comment that he seemed back in top fighting form with energetic speeches attacking opponents on all sides.
The Prime Minister's personal physician, Dr Marvin Gottesman, told reporters Mr Begin was overtired. He said it was possible he had something wrong with his heart but it was still unclear. Mr Begin was admitted to the cardiac department at the hospital where he will stay for a few days for tests.
Dr Gottesman said a preliminary examination showed Mr Begin had over-exerted himself.
In his absence the Government fought off the opposition challenge. Even without Mr Begin's vote in the one hundred and twenty seat Parliament the no-confidence motion was beaten by six votes. The Knesset challenge had looked in advance likely to failure despite recent defections from the coalition led by Mr Begins Likud bloc of parties.
Mr Begin took a personal hand over the weekend in rallying coalition waverers back to the Government fold. In his absence the Government will be headed by Mr Yigael Yadin. Mr Yadin who entered Parliament as a middle-of-the-roader has seen his parliamentary following crumble from thirteen to four because of his insistence on keeping his Democratic Movement inside the hardline Begin coalition.