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A demonstrator stands next to a banner with an image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as she attends a rally in Tel Aviv to demand an immediate cease-fire in Gaza on Jan. 27, 2024.

Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Can Bibi’s career survive the Israel-Hamas war?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has faced growing calls to resign since the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas. In recent days, protesters have gathered outside his home. The war in Gaza isn’t going well. Hamas is far from being destroyed, and roughly 130 hostages remain in Gaza – prompting their family members to storm parliament in outrage. Meanwhile, there are questions as to whether Bibi’s governing coalition will fall apart.

It often seems as though the 74-year-old leader is a breath away from being pushed out of office. But is this war really the last chapter in the chaotic career of Israel’s longest-tenured prime minister?

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An instructor performs a demonstration during a training session at a shooting range in Kfar Saba, Israel

Reuters

Gunned Down, Gunned Up, Again

As news broke last night of the horrific mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, where at least 18 people have been killed, I happened to be talking about guns with an old friend from Israel.

As the Israel-Hamas war rages on, my friend has joined a local security detail where he and other volunteers patrol their local streets at night. Hundreds of these new security units – they are essentially militias – are springing up as Israelis of all ages (my friend is in his early 60s) rush to protect their country. You might think this civic volunteerism is a positive sign, but my friend, a former politician, had a strikingly different view.

“I’m not sure if this is a sign of strength or a sign of weakness in our country,” he said. “After all, it should be the job of police and the government to keep people safe, but no one trusts the government to do that anymore, so they are doing it themselves.” It is an interesting question: Is gun ownership a metric of trust in government?

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Israeli soldiers carry the body of a victim of an attack by militants from Gaza at Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel.

Reuters

Biden on Hamas attacks: “This was an act of sheer evil”

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday did not mince his words when he gave his second address about the Hamas terror attacks in Israel.

“The brutality of Hamas’ bloodthirstiness brings to mind the worst rampages of ISIS,” he said, adding that he told Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu that “if the United States experienced what Israel is experiencing, our response would be swift, decisive, and overwhelming.”

The aim was to show Israel’s enemies that there is little daylight between the US and Israel, and, crucially, to warn those who might be seeking to join the conflict – like Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon – not to dare. This comes after a barrage of rockets was fired at Israel from Lebanon on Tuesday, while Hamas rockets continued to rain down on southern and central Israel, including Tel Aviv, the most populous city.

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Eritrean asylum seekers clash with police during a demonstration in Tel Aviv.

dpa via Reuters Connect

Eritrean riot fuels Bibi backlash

Over 150 people were injured, eight seriously, during violent clashes between hundreds of Eritrean migrants in Tel Aviv, Israel, over the weekend. Protesters breached police barriers, smashing storefronts, car windows, and an event set-up at the Eritrean embassy. Riot police responded with tear gas and stun grenades, and at least 30 officers were injured in battles with demonstrators. Thirty-nine suspects, including some found to be carrying weapons, tear gas, and an electrical stun gun, were arrested.

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Demonstrators are sprayed with water from a water cannon during a demonstration against the Israeli government's judicial overhaul in Jerusalem.

REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Israel’s divisive judicial reforms becoming law

On Monday, Israel’s Knesset (parliament) passed the first bill of PM Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s controversial judicial reform bill.

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People block a highway to Jerusalem on a day of disturbance to protest against Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his nationalist coalition government's judicial overhaul.

REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

A crucial vote on the judiciary in Israel

On Tuesday, Israelis opposed to the government's judicial overhaul blocked highways leading to the country's main cities as part of a national day of disturbance the day after the Knesset (parliament) passed the first part of a legislative package designed to dilute the power of the judiciary.

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Palestinian rescue workers inspect a house after an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza Strip.

The latest from Israel and Gaza

After three days of fighting between Israel and the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in the Gaza Strip, there are no signs that the crisis is abating.

After Israeli forces took out a number of high-profile PIJ commanders in recent days, the group responded by firing more than 800 rockets at southern and central Israel. Many of those rockets have either been intercepted by missile defense systems, landed inside Gaza, or fallen in vacant areas inside Israel.

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Ian Explains: Why Israel's judiciary reform is so controversial
Ian Explains: Why Israel's judiciary reform is so controversial | GZERO World

Ian Explains: Why Israel's judiciary reform is so controversial

Israel celebrated Memorial Day and its 75th birthday in late April. But now the country is looking ahead once more, and not liking what it sees, Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World.

Israelis are split on the left and right over Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's far-right coalition and its push for a bill that would give the executive and legislature control of the judiciary.

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