New Violation of Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Deal


But Netanyahu, who has another year to serve before a scheduled election, struck back, warning the wayward ministers that the public would hold them responsible for the downfall of a right-wing government.

Netanyahu may very well still feel pressure from his right flank next time there is an escalation in Gaza or on other fronts.

Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman's resignation last week over the ceasefire threw the government into crisis.

But in an impassioned speech Sunday announcing his new role as defense minister, Netanyahu sought to brandish his security credentials in the face of the criticism while pinning blame on his coalition partners for trying to force early elections during a sensitive time for Israel's security.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition partner backed off Monday from his demand for the defense ministry, easing a government crisis that could have led to early elections.

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"Israel's politics are in the hands of Hamas", he said. "We have another year until political elections".

Some citizens of Israel have also been publicly vocal about their disappointment in the prime minister's decisions.

The turmoil was sparked by an intense bout of fighting with militants in the Gaza Strip last week and capped by an ultimatum from Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

The hawkish Liberman cited disagreements with the Prime Minister over how best to tackle the never-ending cycle of violence with Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza.

But by yesterday, he had dropped his demand, saying he would stay on as Education Minister to help in the "great mission of making Israel win again".

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Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who is a party member, was present at the conference.

What's next: Netanyahu must gather the heads of the remaining coalition parties to figure out a way forward with a bare majority of 61 out of 120 Knesset seats following the departure of Liberman's Yisrael Beitenu party. "You only see a partial picture of a wide-scale campaign that we are in the middle of", he lectured. I met with the current Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and his successor Aviv Cochavi. "We still have a lot to do", he told Likud MPs. "We find ourselves in one of the most complex security periods".

The official date for the next general elections in Israel is November 2019.

Calling early elections would be "irresponsible", Netanyahu said, due to what he described as a complicated security situation facing the country.

The Debka file said, in a report on Saturday, that its sources had identified the type of modern missiles used by Hamas in recent attacks on the Israeli-occupied territories that inflicted considerable damage and casualties on the regime and forced the Israeli government to accept a ceasefire with the Palestinians.

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