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Man holding Israeli flag against the backdrop of an Israel Defense Forces tank.


Netanyahu: “Now is the time for war”

Announcing on Wednesday that Israel had formed a unity government with the opposition, PM Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference that “we put aside all differences to face an enemy worse than ISIS.”

The war cabinet includes the PM, along with his Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, both from the right-wing Likud Party, as well as leader of the National Unity Party Benny Gantz, a former military chief of staff and head of the defense ministry.

Uniting a divided nation. “The most important action [now] is to establish the unity of the nation,” Netanyahu said in an attempt to convey unity to Israel’s enemies. Netanyahu himself has come under intense scrutiny in recent months for driving a wedge through Israeli society and politics by trying to diminish the power of the country’s judiciary.

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What We're Watching: Egypt closes Gaza border, Swedish PM resigns, Tunisia's indefinite emergency

Egypt closes Gaza border: Egypt closed the Rafah border with the Gaza Strip this week, giving no indication when it'll reopen. Rafah, one of two economic gateways to Gaza and the only entrance not controlled by Israel, is the primary exit point for Palestinians in the Strip to travel overseas. So why did Egypt close it? Well, Cairo — which has been trying to negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas militant group that runs Gaza since an 11-day war broke out in May — is extremely peeved at the lack of progress, and blames Hamas for the impasse. Much of this is linked to a recent wave of violence, whereby Hamas launched a series of bomb balloons across the border with Israel, causing multiple fires across Israeli communities, and prompting Israel to launch several military strikes in response. Egypt has long been a negotiator between Israel and the Palestinians, and Egypt-Israel ties have warmed in recent years: last week, Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel met with Israel's PM Naftali Bennett, and invited him to visit Egypt.

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