Political Factions Gear Up for September Election, Hamas Calls for Diaspora Attacks

Weekly Israel News Recap (Without the Rhetoric)


Israel NewsJul 16, 2019

Israel NewsJul 16, 2019


An invitation in Hebrew to take part in the Israel parliamentary elections to the Knesset. Ballot papers on the background. (Image: Bigstock)

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As Israel’s political factions gear up for the September elections, talks between the leading parties are discussing the possibility of a future government without Netanyahu. Meanwhile, a Hamas leader called for attacks on Jews in the Diaspora in a speech that went further than the usual rhetoric. In Israel, the race is underway to create a 5G network.

Talk of Forming a Government without Netanyahu

As Israel’s political factions gear up for the September elections, the leadership of the new Blue and White party that nearly won the last election is reportedly discussing creating a unity government without Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the head.

The Times of Israel reported that Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz was in talks with leaders from Likud, Netanyahu’s own party, about the possibility of forming a unity government between the two parties after the election on the condition that someone other than Netanyahu leads the coalition. Likud and Blue and White have held talks on creating a coalition government before, but any partnership has been conditional on Netanyahu, who is facing indictments in three corruption cases, stepping down. Netanyahu holds the record for the longest-serving single term and this week will likely surpass Ben-Gurion as the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history.

Despite Netanyahu’s long-lasting legacy, his ruling Likud party won the last election in April only by the narrowest of margins after the newly formed centrist Blue and White party rose to challenge the status quo. The results showed a clear division in Israeli politics that manifested itself in Netanyahu’s failure to form a coalition government, which triggered a new round of elections to be held in September.

Regardless of whether Blue and White or Likud win the next election, they will most likely need to work together to cobble together the required number of seats in the Knesset to form the ruling coalition. Taking Netanyahu out of the picture might give a coalition between the two parties a real chance and offer some stability to Israel’s chaotic politics of late.

Hamas Encourages Diaspora Attacks

A senior Hamas official known for his exceptionally fiery calls for terror attacks called for Palestinians around the world to attack and kill Jews wherever they are.

“All of you 7 million Palestinians abroad, enough of the warming up. You have Jews everywhere, and we must attack every Jew on the globe by way of slaughter and killing, if God permits. Enough of the warming up,” said Fathi Hamad, a leader in Hamas’s politburo.

He made the statement during a Friday speech at a protest near the Israel-Gaza border, according to Times of Israel, saying a terror wave will help break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip in place since Hamas took over in 2007. “Our patience has run out. We are on the verge of exploding. If this siege is not undone, we will explode in the face of our enemies, with God’s permission and glory. The explosion is not only going to be in Gaza but also in the [West] Bank and abroad, if God wills,” Hamad said.

Hamad’s bloody calls for violence against Jews, however, even seem to be a bit much for other Hamas leaders who have tried to distance the organization from Hamad’s rant, which they called a “personal” statement. “These are personal statements that do not represent Hamas. They are no more than emotional comments that he may have said because of the killing of one of our members.”

Hamad’s comments drew condemnation from the local Human Right’s Watch director and Palestinian activists across social media. A different Hamas official reiterated their claim that they have no problem with Jews, only with Zionists and the Israeli government—a public relations line that doesn’t hold up well to historical Hamas rhetoric and actions targeting Jews.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to thank Hamad for the comments saying they helped reveal the true face of Hamas to the world.

5G Speeds to Israel

Israel’s Communication Ministry has officially opened the much-anticipated bidding for the construction of a 5G network for Israel offering $140 million in government incentives.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the ministry said the creation of a 5G network would expand capacity and respond to the growing demand for broadband communications.

“This is a technological move that will leave its mark for decades to come,” said Communications Minister David Amsalem. “The entry of this new 5G technology will kick off the smart digital revolution that will affect all aspects of our lives: smart homes, smart cities, smart medicine, bringing the periphery closer to the center, education, autonomous vehicles, advanced industry and more.”

The new infrastructure will include hundreds of 5G antennas to support speeds approximately twenty times faster than current 4G networks. In April, South Korea became the first country to roll out 5G speeds, and cities in the U.S. and other countries are beginning to adopt it as well.

Weekly Gaza Update

Two IDF jeeps were hit with firebombs during protests at the Gaza border last week, and Israel apologized to Hamas after inadvertently killing a Hamas member near the border fence.

Israel said a “misunderstanding” led troops to fire on and kill twenty-eight-year-old Mahmoud Ahmad Sabri al-Adham, as he approached the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip, according to the Jerusalem Post. The killing took place amid a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel even as some 6,000 Palestinians protested and rioted violently at several spots along the border last Friday for the sixty-sixth consecutive week.

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported thirty-four protesters injured including a seventeen-year-old who was wounded after being shot in the stomach by IDF fire.

An Egyptian diplomatic delegation also arrived in the Gaza Strip last week to attempt to maintain the fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and address what Hamas says is Israel’s slow implementation of easing restrictions of the Gaza blockade in exchange for toned-down violence. A Qatari delegation is expected in the Strip this week to discuss the energy and electricity crisis and the creation of a hospital and industrial zone.

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