Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Binyamin Netanyahu loses majority as Israel election looms

Binyamin Netanyahu loses majority as Israel election looms

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly told a meeting of key cabinet ministers yesterday that he can not hold the coalition together in the face of increasing opposition to Bennett's demand to be handed the defence portfolio in return for keeping his Jewish Home party in the coalition.

Before the crisis Netanyahu's coalition had 66 seats in the 120-seat parliament. Liberman had openly opposed a ceasefire reached with Gaza one day earlier that ended the worst 24 hours of fighting since the 2014 war, advocating instead for a harsher blow against Hamas, the militant group that controls the coastal enclave.

Lieberman resigned in protest on Wednesday.

Following two days of Israeli airstrikes across Gaza, the Hamas movement agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel earlier this week, causing the uproar among Jewish settlements surrounding Gaza.

Lieberman alleged that the truce will put southern Israel under a growing threat from Hamas, similar to the threat posed to northern Israel by Lebanon's heavily armed Hezbollah militia.

"The most risky thing for the state of Israel is that we begin to think that there is no solution to terrorism, to terrorists, to missiles", he said.

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"If we don't stop it from getting stronger, we will have Hezbollah's twin within a year", he added.

An Israeli military officer who was seriously wounded in last Sunday's blown special forces mission inside the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip was released from Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba on Friday.

In their announcement, protest organizers in Gaza urged people to demonstrate Friday "to thank the resistance" for battling Israel. Witnesses said most of the injuries occurred in stone-throwing incidents at the usual five protest locations. Such acts have often triggered lethal Israeli army fire.

Prior to the Israeli commando raid that went awry, Israel allowed Qatar to deliver $15 million as a first installment to help Hamas pay civil servants long overdue salaries. Since the near-weekly protests began in March, more than 170 Palestinians have been killed.

Protesters were also seen confronting Israeli police, who attempted to maintain order during the mass protest.

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