Days after cease-fire, Gaza border demonstrations to resume

Days after cease-fire, Gaza border demonstrations to resume

Pressures were mounting Thursday on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call for early elections amidst turmoil sparked by defense minister's resignation following an agreed cease-fire with Gaza.

A senior Jewish Home official said it became clear after the Bennett-Netanyahu meeting that there "is a need to go to elections as soon as possible".

Israel will pick a date to hold early elections on Sunday following a tumultuous week for the nation.

The government must choose an election date within three to five months.

He slammed the Israeli government for agreeing to effectively "give immunity" to Gaza's ruling Hamas terrorist organization by agreeing to a ceasefire barely a day after the group fired more than 460 rockets, mortar shells and missiles at southern Israeli civilians.

Netanyahu's coalition has 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset.

Avigdor Lieberman announces surprise resignation in protest to Prime Minister Netanyahu's decision to strike a deal with Hamas; Trey Yingst reports from Jerusalem.

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Mr Netanyahu raised the spectre of the collapse of a Likud-led government in 1992, which led to Labour taking power and signing the Oslo Accords agreement with the Palestinians, to the fury the Israeli Right.

What they're saying: Just like Liberman, Bennett's party wants a harder stance against Hamas and will now likely call for early elections.

Lieberman resigned in protest on Wednesday. The party said this was an "ultimatum" for it to stay in the government.

Bennett's withdrawal from the coalition would leave Netanyahu without the minimum 61 seats needed to govern, making elections inevitable and ending a government that lasted almost four years.

Bennett, who is now Israel's Education Minister, had sought to replace Lieberman. Without Bennett's Jewish Home, Netanyahu's coalition would lose its parliamentary majority. "In any case, the term of office of this government will not be long".

Gaza's Hamas rulers are sticking to cease-fire with Israel by keeping border protests widely restrained.

The fighting erupted after an Israeli unit was exposed during a covert operation inside Gaza, leading to a shootout between the Israeli soldiers and Hamas fighters.

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