Israel's Netanyahu makes 'last effort' to save government

Blanche Robertson
November 18, 2018

The ceasefire prompted defence minister Avigdor Lieberman to resign in protest, and to accuse Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of "surrendering to Hamas terror".

Speaking at a memorial for Palestinians killed in recent fights against the Israeli Army, Yahya Sinwar, who is the leader of Hamas in Gaza, said: "I advise Israel not to try and test us again".

And in a chilling comment, Sinwar also said he has spoken to the leader of Hamas' military wing, Muhammed Dief, about rocket strikes being launched on Israeli cities. "The first barrage to hit Tel Aviv will surprise Israel", he said.

Thanking US President Donald Trump and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for opposing the resolution, Netanyahu says the "important and just vote" matches his own position on the Golan, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized internationally.

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"This [Hamas missile strikes] shows that normalization of Arab-Israeli relations, declarations of Quds [Jerusalem] as the Israeli capital and the [US-led] Deal of the Century are dreams that will not come true and the Zionist regime will not attain them", Amir Abdollahian said, according to a report by Iranian FARS news agency.

One Israeli man was killed and dozens more were injured in a series of massive missile and mortar attacks that began late Monday afternoon and continued overnight and Tuesday, during which some 400 projectiles have been fired from Gaza at southern Israeli communities. Israel retaliated, targeting 160 sites in the Gaza strip allegedly connected with Hamas and other militants, including four facilities it said were "key strategic assets", before signing a ceasefire on Tuesday. Israeli political observers think the resignations from Netanyahu's cabinet may result in early elections.

Naftali Bennett, the education minister of the far-right Jewish Home party, which holds eight seats in parliament, has demanded the defence portfolio as a way of keeping the government together.

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