Saturday, 15 August 2020

W Weekly Update

November 10-17

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Israel’s defense minister resigns

The Washington Post reports that Israel’s defense minister Avigdor Liberman resigned over his opposition to a cease-fire with Hamas following the worst Gaza violence since 2014, bringing the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the brink of collapse and potentially ushering in early elections. The withdrawal of Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party from the governing coalition leaves Netanyahu with a one-seat majority in Israel’s parliament. Liberman called for elections to be held as soon as possible.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of another right-wing party, has also called for a stronger military response to the Gaza unrest. Bennett, who has a fractious relationship with Netanyahu, is demanding to take Liberman’s place as defense minister or his party will also leave the coalition, according to senior officials in his party. Analysts say Netanyahu is more likely to call elections than bend to Bennett’s demand, writes The Washington Times.

According to The Times of Israel, Avigdor Liberman told the reporters: “What happened yesterday, the ceasefire, together with the deal with Hamas, is a capitulation to terror. There is no other way of explaining it.”

As The Times of Israel further informs, Netanyahu defended his decision to accept a ceasefire with terror groups in Gaza after the worst escalation in violence in the Strip since 2014. “Our enemies begged for a ceasefire and they knew very well why,” he added.

It is also known that the Israeli government facilitated the transfer of $15 million from Qatar to Gaza to pay salaries of civil servants and employees of the Hamas-run government, as part of a wider deal aimed at alleviating the worsening economic crisis in the territory. Netanyahu said that the goal was to maintain Israel’s security by preventing a collapse in the humanitarian situation for the 2 million civilians “held hostage” by Hamas.  Whereas Liberman said the transfer of the money was a “turning point” for him. “Everyone saying the money will be regulated after entering Gaza is wrong — to put it mildly,” he said. “The money went first of all to the terrorists’ families.”

The deal has provoked criticism from within Netanyahu’s government as well as from Israelis who live near the Gaza Strip and want further action against Hamas, the terror group that rules the enclave.

 

Prepared by Marina Muradyan

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