IDF confirms ‘decline in forces’ in southern Gaza


Copyright: Reuters

As anti-government protests continue in Israel calling for the release of all hostages still held in Gaza, let’s consider how popular Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is by now.

Netanyahu has been a dominant political figure for the last 40 years. He was re-elected for a fifth time in November 2022, leading a right-wing coalition.

He has faced ongoing pressure in Israel for failing to prevent Hamas’s attack on 7 October, as well as so far proving unable to rescue all of the Israeli hostages. But his leadership was facing criticism before the attacks.

Last July, Israel’s parliament passed a highly controversial law to limit the Supreme Court’s powers, preventing the court from overruling government actions it considers unreasonable.

That decision spurred mass protests and prompted hundreds of military reservists to threaten to refuse to report for service.

In January, the Supreme Court voted to strike down the judicial reform, threatening to further undermine confidence in his government. Netanyahu’s Likud party said the decision opposed “the will of the people for unity, especially during wartime”.

Netanyahu is also facing a corruption trial, which has been delayed both by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Israel-Gaza war, having been charged with fraud, bribery and breach of trust. He has described the charges as a “witch hunt”.

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