- The war with Islamic Jihad kills the chance of Gantz making a government to include the Arab party.
- There were 34 deaths to Palestinians during the exchange of fire, including a 7-year old boy and six members of one family.
- The timing of this conflict just before Gantz completes his mandate to make a government appears to be intentional by Likud to prevent the Left from making a narrow government with the Arabs.
Israel and Islamic Jihad reached a ceasefire agreement Wednesday night with Egyptian mediation, although rockets were launched Thursday morning from Gaza on Israel border communities. The agreement was to come into effect at 5:30 a.m. Thursday morning. A Islamic Jihad spokesmen said that the ceasefire was based on a list of demands including a halt of the targeted killings of the group’s leaders by Israel. Also it was to include a halt to Israeli aggression at the border during the Friday March of Return protests.
The conflict started Tuesday with a pre-dawn Israel targeted attack that killed a Jihad leader who Israel claims has been responsible for sporadic bombing of Israel settlements throughout the last few month, even though a peace treaty had been reached between Israel and Hamas.
Southern settlement leaders in Israel called for an end to these attacks and were not willing to tolerate sporadic bombing which interfered with their daily lives. Jihad, from Tuesday morning until the time of the ceasefire, had fired over 400 missiles at Israeli cities, most of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome. These missiles were aimed at populated areas in Israel with the intention to kill Israelis and to cause damage to property.
While the rockets were falling, Israel retaliated with bombing by air and through artillery planted on the border of Gaza. Israel retaliation was directed to areas in Gaza used by Jihad to produce these rockets and against places in Gaza from which these rockets were launched. There were casualties among Palestinians in Gaza which was not the Israel intention but was a part of their defense.
After the ceasefire agreement, the people of Gaza showed dissatisfaction and demonstrated against this agreement. On Thursday morning ten missiles were shot on the city of Sederot located in the south of Israel. Also in the early evening rockets were shot at Israel even though the cease fire agreement was supposed to be in effect. Then at 10 p.m. additional rockets were shot at Israel settlements in the south. There were 34 deaths to Palestinians during the encounter including a 7-year old boy and six members of one family.
Because of the threat of bombings on Friday, schools in Southern Israel will remain closed. Jihad claims that the violation of the ceasefire occurred because not all its members had yet received this agreement. Israel, after the ceasefire, has halted bombing in order to give a chance for the ceasefire to take effect.
Benny Gantz has six more days to make a government with him as Prime Minister. So far he has been unsuccessful in getting Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud to join him in a united government. Benny Gantz alone has close to 61 mandates including the Arab parties.
Avigdor Lieberman, with 8 mandates, could join him to complete the required 61 mandates. Lieberman has spoken for making a unified government and so far has not been successful in bringing the parties together. He does not want another election which he says will be disastrous and shameful for Israel.
He has an option to join Gantz and make a narrow government with the Arabs or a narrow government with Likud. He has even threatened to join Gantz with the Arabs if Likud refuses to participate. Suddenly, Israel under the leadership of Netanyahu started the confrontation with Jihad through doing a targeted killing which they had not done for many years.
Netanyahu knew that this targeted killing would provoke a response from Jihad which ended up so far in 400 missiles thrown on Israel in the last three days. The timing of this conflict just before Gantz completes his mandate to make a government appears to be intentional by Likud to prevent the Left from making a narrow government with the Arabs which would be possible and was threatened by Lieberman.
Netanyahu in the middle of this war spoke harshly against the Arab Joint Party– that they were a threat to Israel security. Obviously now after the war, Gantz has no chance to include the Arabs in his government even if Likud will join him.
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