Is Netanyahu's Government Crumbling? New Conflict Could Lead to Early National Election

Arturo Kim
November 18, 2018

Israeli media reported that other coalition partners would oppose Bennett, who leads an ultra-nationalist, religious party, becoming defense minister.

The meeting between Netanyahu and Bennett, who is the head of the far-right Habayit Hayehudi party (Jewish Home), was held amid the government's calls to avoid snap elections.

Sinwar said that he has sent a message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and "his new defense minister" that "Gaza only prepares death for you and the rockets of resistance have become more in terms of numbers, accurate and destructive".

"He trusts the ministers' sense of responsibility to keep them from making the historic error of bringing down a right-wing government", it said.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, the head of the center-right Kulanu Party, has said it is an economic must to have elections as early as possible. An Egyptian-brokered cease-fire ended the two-day flare-up.

Israeli protesters hold flags and chant slogans during a demonstration against the cease-fire between Israel and Gaza's Hamas in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.

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Although the Israelis responded with almost 150 strikes in Gaza, many Israeli residents demanded a stronger response from the government in Jerusalem.

The sudden vacancy allowed Bennett, leader of the right-wing Jewish Home party, to demand the defense portfolio, promising to quit the government if he didn't get it.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin echoed Hanegbi's analysis, explaining that: "All the coalition partners will have to make a decision early this week if they want to move ahead of the elections", Arutz Sheva reported.

Deri, the Interior Minister, echoed his call, increasing pressure on Netanyahu to dissolve the government. Netanyahu has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence, often employing the phrase "There will be nothing because there is nothing".

The source close to Bennett told Reuters that an early election date will be decided on Sunday. If this is indeed the case, it is expected elections will be held between March and May 2019.

Opinion polls show that Netanyahu's Likud would be likely to remain the dominant party after a parliamentary election.

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