Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is teetering on the brink of collapse just hours after he agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas that has proven unpopular with conservatives in his country.
As TruNews reported Tuesday, the Security Cabinet agreed to the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement, but authorized the use of force against Gaza “as necessary” to defend Israeli national security. The ceasefire held together today with only a few individual incidents at the Gaza security barrier.
In response to the ceasefire agreement, however, war hawk Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced his resignation from the Cabinet and the withdrawal of his Yisrael Beiteinu party from the Likud-led coalition government. With the withdrawal, Likud’s coalition now holds a mere one-seat majority in the Knesset.
Netanyahu has suggested he will take the defense portfolio on his own, but two other Likud members have expressed a desire to replace Lieberman. Intelligence Minister Israel Katz and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Avi Dichter—a former head of Shin Bet—have both said they would like the job.
Likud’s slim majority, however, is in further jeopardy after the head of Bayit Yehudi—also known as Jewish Home—Naftali Bennett demanded that he be made defense minister or his party will also withdraw from the coalition. That would potentially trigger a snap election a year ahead of schedule.
Meanwhile, the terrorist group Islamic Jihad is celebrating Lieberman’s resignation, saying it and Hamas were responsible for disrupting Israeli politics while “deterring” the IDF militarily. The group’s spokesman said:
“Behold the political slaughter dealt to leaders of the occupation who aren’t capable of dealing with Gaza.”
Families of dead IDF soldiers whose bodies are still held by Hamas, as well as those of a pair of Israeli civilians captured by the terrorists, praised Lieberman’s decision. Residents of southern Israel who were targeted by Hamas rockets protested the ceasefire by blocking roadways in and out of the Gaza Strip.