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  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads the weekly cabinet meeting, at the Prime Ministers Office in Jerusalem, September 16, 2018. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party began holding discussions with senior coalition members Wednesday in an effort to hold together his government, following the resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and an ultimatum by Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett.

    The departure of Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu’s leaves the coalition with a narrow margin of just 61 seats against the opposition’s 59, greatly raising the possibility of early elections before they are officially scheduled in November 2019.

    Ratcheting up coalition tensions, the Jewish Home party issued an ultimatum to Netanyahu saying it will quit the coalition and topple the government if Bennett, currently Education Minister, isn’t appointed as Liberman’s successor.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and leader of the Yisrael Beytenu political party Avigdor Liberman sign an agreement bringing Liberman's party into the government, May 25, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

    Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s resignation from the government on Wednesday, after the cabinet okayed a deeply unpopular ceasefire with Hamas, is meant to position him as the true defender of right-wing values, willing to sacrifice his senior ministerial position for a principled stance in defense of the beleaguered residents of southern Israel.

    At least, that was how Liberman hoped it would play out. But his calculations may backfire and end up working in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s favor.

    Liberman quit less than 24 hours after a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas went into effect, arguing that he can no longer be a part of a government that caves to terror. His announcement spared no criticism from the prime minister and his Likud party, as well as from fellow coalition parties Jewish Home and Kulanu, portraying them as weak on security matters.

  • Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, October 22, 2018. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

    Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman announced Wednesday that he would be resigning as defense minister and called for the government to be dismantled and for new elections to be set.

    “I am here to announce my resignation from the government,” he said at a hastily organized press conference at the Knesset after a Yisrael Beytenu party meeting, during which he told MKs of his decision.

    Liberman said his decision came in light of the ceasefire reportedly agreed on Tuesday between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in Gaza following an unprecedentedly fierce two-day barrage of over 400 rockets fired by Hamas and other terror groups toward Israel.

     

  • At the EU, Strasbourg France - November 13, 2018 - AP Photo

    Strasbourg, France (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Tuesday for the eventual creation of a European army during a keynote address to the European Parliament, echoing a similar suggestion by French President Emmanuel Macron. 

    "We should work on the vision of creating a real European army one day," Merkel said in a speech on the future of Europe to EU lawmakers in the French city of Strasbourg. 

    "A common European army would show the world that there will never again be war between European countries," she added. Her comments came two days after world leaders gathered in Paris for the centenary of the end of World War I.

  • A ball of fire above the building housing the Hamas-run television station al-Aqsa TV in the Gaza Strip during an Israeli air strike, November 12, 2018. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP)

    Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip announced that Egypt brokered a ceasefire agreement between them and Israel on Tuesday evening, after over 460 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel over the course of 25 hours.

    A senior Israeli diplomatic official appeared to confirm the reported armistice. First reports said the decision to accept a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups in Gaza was taken by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Tuesday’s seven-hour meeting of the security cabinet without being put to a vote. Four ministers quickly said they opposed it.

    “Israel maintains its right to act. Requests from Hamas for a ceasefire came through four different mediators. Israel responded that the events on the ground will decide [if a ceasefire will go into effect],” the Israeli official said, on condition of anonymity.

  • A convoy of Israeli tanks on the highway near the southern Israeli town of Sderot, on November 12, 2018. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

    The Israeli military deployed additional troops and tanks to the Gaza Strip border on Monday following the largest barrage of rockets and mortar shells fired at Israel from the coastal enclave in a single day.

    The army was reportedly given a green light from policymakers to pummel terror groups in the Strip if they continued with the barrages, as the terror organizations in the Strip vowed to do.

    “The resistance factions’ joint command center is holding a serious conversation about expanding its range of fire. Ashkelon is just the beginning. Approximately one million Zionists will be within the range of our missiles if the Zionist enemy’s decision is to continue its aggression,” said Abu Obeida, a spokesperson for Hamas’s military wing.

  • The man, in his 40s, was found dead under debris as rescuers searched through the apartment building that had been hit by a missile fired from Gaza shortly after midnight, according to reports.

    A man was killed and two women were seriously injured after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip scored a direct hit on an apartment building in Ashkelon.

    The fatality was the first in Israel after a day that saw more than 300 missiles and mortar rounds fired at Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip in a series of massive barrages that stretched past midnight Monday and into Tuesday morning. The missile attacks appeared to taper off after 1 a.m.

    The man, in his 40s, was found dead under debris as rescuers searched through the apartment building that had been hit by a missile fired from Gaza shortly after midnight, according to reports.

  • U.S. Envoy for Middle East negotiations Jason Greenblatt on a visit in Israel. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

    WASHINGTON -- Hamas is "forcing" Israel into military action in Gaza with its rocket and mortar firings, US President Donald Trump's senior adviser, Jason Greenblatt, warned on Monday.

    Writing on Twitter, Greenblatt, who is leading an effort to jumpstart peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, said that the world "has grown tired of Hamas' violence and the violence of other bad actors in Gaza."

    Over 200 rockets have been fired from the coastal strip into Israeli territory over the last 24 hours, and Israeli leaders are already vowing a strong response.

    "Terrorists in Gaza are again attacking Israel with tools of war," Greenblatt said. "These rocket & mortar attacks on Israeli towns must be condemned by all. Israel is forced once again into military action to defend its citizens. We stand with Israel as it defends itself against these attacks."

  • Iraeli security forces and firefighters gather near a building set ablaze after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave, in the southern town of Sderot on November 12, 2018. (Photo by Jack GUEZ / AFP)

    Fresh fighting erupted on the Gaza border Monday afternoon, with dozens of projectiles fired by terrorists in the Strip striking southern Israel, as well as anti-tank missile attack on an Israeli bus near the border that seriously injured a soldier, officials said.

    According to the Israel Defense Forces, more than 200 projectiles were fired at Israel, triggering sirens in Israeli communities close to the Gaza Strip, in the city of Beersheba and even as far away as the Dead Sea and the West Bank’s Hebron Hills.

    Some 60 incoming rockets and mortar shells from Gaza were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, the military said, while several others struck homes and buildings in Israeli communities near the border, causing light injuries and severe damage. The IDF said that the majority of the projectiles that were not intercepted fell in open areas, causing neither casualties nor damage.

  • North Korea is conning the United States, building up secret, smaller missile bases even after publicly touting the dismantling of its main launch site, according to a new review of satellite images by a top think tank.

    Citing new satellite pictures, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Beyond Parallel program identified what appears to be missile operating bases that have never been acknowledged by North Korean officials. CSIS' conclusions were not immediately independently confirmed.

    The report identified about 15 to 20 bases being operated by the Korean People’s Army's Strategic Force, based on information from officials in the government, defense and intelligence, as well as North Korean defectors.

     

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris on November 11, 2011 (courtesy)

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday had a “short talk” with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Paris as world leaders gathered for commemorations marking 100 years since the end of World War I.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Sergeyevich Peskov said Netanyahu and Putin had a “short talk,” without elaborating on the contents of the discussion, according to the Kremlin.

    At a later press conference, Netanyahu confirmed he spoke with Putin. He said the talks were “good and substantive and even very important.”

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“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds

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