Netanyahu tries to avoid coalition implosion over Gaza ceasefire plan

(The Guardian, 3/6/2024)

Netanyahu will always bow to the extreme right because they keep him in power and out of jail – Mark

Israeli prime minister juggles differing demands of partners after Joe Biden announced latest peace proposal
Benjamin Netanyahu is once again trying to balance the demands of centrist and far-right members of his government after a threat from his extremist allies to collapse the coalition if Israel moves forward with a new ceasefire plan for Gaza announced by the US president, Joe Biden.
In an unexpected broadcast from the White House on Friday night, Biden urged Hamas to accept what he said was a new proposal from Israel for a three-phrase plan towards a permanent ceasefire in the nine-month war.
“Israel has made their proposal. Hamas says they want a ceasefire. This deal is an opportunity to prove whether they really mean it. Hamas needs to take the deal,” he said.
But in remarks on Saturday, Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, immediately undermined Biden, reiterating that Israel seeks the complete destruction of the Palestinian militant group before it will agree to ending the war. Any deviation from that condition is a “non-starter”, he said.
Hamas provisionally welcomed the president’s announcement, although it also said as recently as Thursday that it still views a full withdrawal of Israeli troops as a precondition to talks.
As expected, Netanyahu’s far-right coalition partners – the finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, and the national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir – immediately voiced opposition to the new truce plan when Shabbat ended on Saturday night, threatening to resign if it goes ahead.
Such a deal would be “foolhardy, constituting a victory for terrorism and a threat to Israel’s national security,” Ben-Gvir, the head of the ultranationalist Jewish Power party, said on X.

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