Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year consecutive tenure as Israel’s prime minister came to an end on 13 June, with opposition leaders Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett cobbling together a coalition government and, in a historic first – the Arab-Israeli Ra’am party.
Amir Avivi, a retired brigadier general and senior Israeli defence establishment official, has warned that the Hamas political and militant movement may try to “test” the newly formed Bennett government militarily, and suggested that israel needs to prepare to “defend” Jerusalem amid threats from Palestinian militant groups relating to Tuesday’s Jerusalem flag march.
“In the end, Hamas was severely beaten and I’m not sure if it wants another round [of fighting]. If there is another round [the group] will face very big problems and we will stand our ground,” the retired senior officer added, referring to the last month’s 11-day flare-up of fighting between the israel Defence Force and Gaza-based militants, in which both sides claimed victory.
The fighting began in anticipation of a ruling by Israel’s top court to evict half a dozen families from their homes in East Jerusalem, and the Israeli police occupation of the al-Aqsa mosque compound – one of the holiest sites in Islam, ahead of the previous attempt by Jewish nationalists to march through the old city of Jerusalem with flags. The conflict then escalated, with Hamas firing rockets…