Title: Netanyahu Faces Revolt Within Coalition Government Over Fuel Aid to Gaza
In a move that has sparked controversy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently decided to allow two fuel trucks per day into Gaza, a decision met with resistance from within his own coalition government. Amid pressure from the United States and the international community, Netanyahu is now facing a revolt from religious nationalists and settler leaders who demand greater control over the conduct of the war and oppose any humanitarian concessions until Hamas releases Israeli hostages.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has also entered the fray by calling for the expansion of the war cabinet to include representatives from all seven parties in the coalition government. This move highlights the delicate balancing act that Netanyahu faces as he tries to meet the demands of far-right religious nationalists within his government while also addressing the pressure from Western allies to alleviate the plight of Gaza civilians.
The majority of Palestinians in Gaza heavily rely on humanitarian aid, including fuel, to meet their basic needs and operate essential services. Israeli officials argue that the limited fuel allowance is necessary to prevent a breakdown of Gaza’s sewage and water systems, which could lead to the spread of disease. However, this justification has not appeased critics who argue that the restriction further exacerbates the humanitarian crisis in the region.
At the start of the war, Israel halted all fuel deliveries to Gaza, causing the shutdown of the enclave’s sole power plant. The consequences of this decision have been dire, with Gazans now facing extended power outages and worsening living conditions.
The tensions within the coalition government have not gone unnoticed by President Joe Biden, who has expressed frustration over the delay in securing humanitarian pauses and has called for a longer pause to facilitate negotiations over the release of hostages. Netanyahu’s ability to control his far-right coalition partners, who have made controversial statements regarding the war and the treatment of Palestinians, is being put to the test.
Despite the revolt within his coalition government, it is unlikely that coalition partners will walk out, as it would trigger a snap election where the Netanyahu-led coalition would likely face defeat. This highlights the delicate political landscape that Netanyahu must navigate to maintain stability within his government whilst addressing the demands of all factions involved.
As the situation in Gaza continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how Netanyahu will handle the growing dissent within his coalition and reconcile the pressure from Western allies with the demands of his far-right partners. The power struggle in the government’s response to the war will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the region and its people.