Blinken arrives in Israel. Protests in front of the Knesset: “Elections now”

The US Secretary of State will ask Netanyahu to end the “military phase” and move on to “targeted raids”. Sit-in in front of Parliament: “Government resigns”

On the day of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Israel, a protest demonstration against the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is taking place in front of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem, to demand ”elections now”. With a sit-in, the protesters are preventing deputies from entering the Chamber.

The protest in front of the Knesset

“All the hopes the government held out in this moment of emergency have been destroyed by the failure of their actions, expressed by their dysfunction, by their abandonment of the hostages, by their fatal damage to Israel’s international reputation, by their continued incitement and division and from the hijacking of budgets in favor of personal interests to the detriment of the public,” the organizers say in a statement. “We have come to the Knesset to demand immediate elections, the immediate replacement of the government and the expulsion of the extremists,” they add.

“No Israeli government reshuffle, Netanyahu will not fire ministers”

No government reshuffle is planned in Israel, despite pressure. As public broadcaster Kan reports, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no intention of removing any of his ministers from office. What Netanyahu is thinking about, Kan continues, is the closure of ministries considered ”minor”. In this context, talks are underway to provide ”compensation” to the ministers affected and, according to rumors, they would be guaranteed a place in the government, but without a portfolio.

Another option could be to offer the minister left without a ministry the leadership of the government body Tkuma (resurrection in Hebrew) created after the massacre launched by Hamas on 7 October. The body is responsible for managing the reconstruction of communities in the Gaza Strip devastated by Hamas terrorists. Netanyahu hopes to explain his decision during the cabinet meeting scheduled for Thursday, when the prime minister also hopes to obtain approval of the war budget for 2024 presented by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

Blinken-Netanyahu meeting, requests from the US secretary of state

Blinken will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, whom he will ask to announce the end of the ”military phase” of the war in the Gaza Strip and to move on to ”targeted raids”, as announced by the Israeli TV channel Channel 12. After visiting Turkey, Greece, Jordan and Qatar, Blinken will meet with local authorities in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia today in a bid to persuade them to use their influence to avoid an escalation of the conflict. ”This is a conflict that can easily have a risk of metastasizing with more insecurity and even more impatience,” Blinken said while meeting journalists in Qatar

Gaza Ministry of Health: 73 deaths in 24 hours, 22,800 since the start of the war

73 Palestinians have lost their lives and 99 have been injured in the last 24 hours in the Gaza Strip due to Israeli air raids. This was announced by the Gaza Ministry of Health, updating the death toll in the Palestinian enclave since last October 7 to 22,800, while over 58 thousand people were injured.