Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement of the army’s readiness for a “multi-front war”, amid the escalation of the crisis in Gaza, raised questions about his endeavor to exploit the situation to mitigate the internal challenges facing his government since its formation.
On Tuesday, Israel launched Operation Defensive Arrow, under which 3 leaders of the Islamic Jihad movement were targeted in the Gaza Strip, and 10 others were killed, including women and children, while a new round of tension began with the Palestinian factions.
Netanyahu held a meeting with the cabinet for security and political affairs, known as the Cabinet, where he sought a green light to carry out a military operation in Gaza, with the prime minister and defense minister authorized to make decisions without convening the cabinet.
These developments come in the wake of Palestinian factions firing rockets at southern Israel, last week, following the death of prominent Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan in Israeli prisons after a strike that lasted 87 days.
What did Netanyahu say?
- The Cabinet gave Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant the authority to continue striking the Jihad movement, and if necessary, Hamas.
- Netanyahu said, “Israel is ready for any eventuality. Our long arm.”
- The Israeli Prime Minister asked the settlers in Gaza to obey the orders of the army forces, adding, “In the coming days, we will need patience. Any escalation by our enemies will be met with an overwhelming response from us.”
- He added, “The Israelis will have to show determination in the next few days,” indicating that the escalation will continue for a long time.
And on the impact of the Israeli military operation, the “Jewish Greatness” party, led by the extremist Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, announced an end to the boycott of government meetings, in a political shift in favor of Netanyahu, although this does not end the dispute between the Likud party to which the president belongs. Ministers and the Ben Gvir party.
Ben Gvir decided to boycott government and Knesset meetings last week, to protest what he described as a “weak” response to rockets fired by Palestinian factions into southern Israel.
In its analysis of the current situation, the Israeli newspaper “Haaretz” considered that the military operation with escalatory potential comes at a time when the government is suffering from a political crisis and internal weakness due to the “constitutional coup” crisis.
The newspaper said that “the military operation will always be considered politically orchestrated and clouded by suspicions about the real intentions behind it.”
She pointed out that the goal behind what is happening now is to “suppress criticism of the government, consolidate the ruling coalition and immediately change the agenda from the political constitution to the issue of security,” and this is Netanyahu’s way to “extricate himself from the political situation in which he found himself.”
In turn, Ayman Al-Raqab, a professor of political science at Al-Quds University, identified, in his interview with “Sky News Arabia”, the reflection of the military operation in Gaza on Netanyahu’s internal challenges in a number of points, saying:
- Certainly Netanyahu is suffering in recent days from a crisis within his government, unlike his crisis with the opposition, and things began to return to putting pressure on him, and then he searched for a sacrifice that was less lossy for him, and identified it in “jihad in the Gaza Strip.”
- Netanyahu did not attack Hezbollah in Lebanon. Because this opens the door to a wide war, while he desires a limited operation that he can quietly gather his cards.
- The assessments of the security services in Gaza were that Hamas would not participate in the events, as happened in the killing of “Khaled Mansour and Tayseer al-Ja’bari,” and therefore the Jihad will respond alone, and the Israeli government will have the decision on the date of ending this crisis.
- The Israeli prime minister does not wish to expand the confrontation, but seeks to gather his forces, and we noticed after the military operation greater support for him, especially from Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, and therefore he considers that what he wanted has been achieved until this moment, and thus turned the rudder of the internal crises in Tel Aviv into an idea. Homeland Security again.
- If a long war opens, I think that all of that will change because he cannot bring safety to the settlers surrounding the Gaza Strip or Tel Aviv, and he is not ready for a land war at the present time.