Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing pressure from within his government to end the cease-fire with Hamas and resume the military campaign in Gaza.
Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir issued an ultimatum to Netanyahu on social media on Wednesday, saying the current coalition government would dissolve if the war against Hamas is halted. Officials from the U.S., Israel and Qatar are in negotiations regarding a second extension of the cease-fire with Hamas.
Israel and Hamas have paused their fighting for six days, exchanging Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners in Israel. Netanyahu is facing mounting pressure from international organizations and even the U.S. to accept a long-term cease-fire agreement.
Such an agreement would put an end to hopes of dismantling Hamas and ending the terrorist organization’s leadership in Gaza, something Netanyahu has repeatedly vowed to do.
The more aggressive elements of Netanyahu’s government recognize the conflict is at a key juncture.
‘Stopping the war = dissolution of the government,’ Ben-Gvir wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Netanyahu was very clear in his intent to utterly destroy Hamas earlier this month prior to agreeing to a cease-fire.
‘If you want peace, destroy Hamas. If you want security, destroy Hamas. If you want a future for Israel, the Palestinians, the Middle East, destroy Hamas,’ Netanyahu told ‘Meet the Press’ host Kristen Welker on Nov. 12. ‘We’re absolutely intent on achieving it. And what I can tell you… is given the extraordinary performance of the Israeli army in the last few days, the last few weeks, we’re going to achieve it. We’ll do it with as few civilian casualties as we can and with maximum casualties on the Hamas terrorists, which we are achieving day by day, hour by hour, will complete the task.’
If Israel nevertheless agrees to another cease-fire extension or a more long-term truce agreement, Netanyahu’s government could collapse, and he would face an election – a contest current polls suggest he would likely lose.