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Israel’s unlikely coalition: is this the end for Netanyahu?

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Israel has a new coalition government made up of eight very different parties. But having ousted Benjamin Netanyahu, can it hold together?

Israel’s longest-serving leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, was ousted from office on Sunday by a coalition of rival parties from across the political spectrum. Yair Lapid, a centrist former TV news anchor, won a confidence vote in parliament by 60 to 59 seats giving the new coalition a razor-thin majority.

The Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent, Oliver Holmes, tells Rachel Humphreys that Netanyahu’s downfall was marked by jubilant celebrations from his political opponents. But the new coalition of eight parties is far from stable. Dahlia Scheindlin tells Rachel that despite the momentous week in Israeli politics it may not produce a significant change of course on the biggest issues facing the country. And it may not be the last act for Netanyahu in Israeli politics.

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Israel carries out Gaza Strip airstrike after militants release incendiary balloons

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Fragile truce under threat after attack on the Palestinian enclave and violence amid Jewish ultranationalists parade through East Jerusalem

Israel has launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, the first since a truce ended 11 days of cross-border fighting last month, in response to incendiary balloons launched from the Palestinian territory.

The flare-up in violence, a first test for Israel’s new government sworn in three days ago, followed a march in East Jerusalem on Tuesday by Jewish nationalists that had drawn threats of action by Hamas, the ruling militant group in Gaza.

Related: British backing for Israel helps to sustain the unbearable status quo | Rafeef Ziadah

מצעד הדגלים בירושלים | חברי הכנסת שלמה קרעי מהליכוד ויו"ר הציונות הדתית בצלאל סמוטריץ' רוקדים בשער שכם@yaara_shapira pic.twitter.com/jObc3KfYkH

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Why is Israel lifting Covid restrictions as England extends them?

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Analysis: both are viewed as running successful vaccine campaigns, but case numbers are very different

Israel and the UK were viewed as world leaders in their coronavirus vaccine campaigns but whereas the former is lifting almost all pandemic limitations, the latter is now glumly extending its restrictions in England amid a sharp rise in infections.

Despite starting its mass inoculation programme after the UK in December, Israel has sped ahead and it reached a key milestone on Tuesday, scrapping a requirement to wear face masks indoors, one of the final Covid limitations.

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The Viewing Booth review – seeing is believing in the Israel-Palestine...

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Volunteers respond to politically polarised film footage from Israel and the Palestinian territories in this critical look at interpretation

Even though he tries to maintain a cool, scientific demeanour, Israeli director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz finally lets slip a twinge of despair at the end of this interesting geopolitical Rorschach test. Alexandrowicz sits studiously behind a monitor as he invites a succession of volunteers to enter an adjacent booth. There, they have a choice of 40 clips to watch, snippets of life in Israel, while he asks them to share their thoughts on what they see. Half of the clips are from rightwing Israeli sources; the other half are from B’Tselem, an Israeli human-rights organisation that aims to document abuses of power in Palestinian territories.

Alexandrowicz quickly zeroes in on the pensive Maia, a Jewish American who supports Israel, but brings an insistent scepticism to everything she watches. He is the director of pro-Palestine documentaries such as The Inner Tour (2001) and The Law in These Parts (2011) – and believes her to be his ideal audience: a possible convert.

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New Israeli government is just as bad as the last, says...

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Mohammad Shtayyeh condemns Naftali Bennett’s announcements in support of Israeli settlements

Benjamin Netanyahu’s ousting closes one of the “worst periods” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but the new government headed by a settler advocate, Naftali Bennett, is just as bad as the last, the Palestinian prime minister has said.

“We do not see this new government as any less bad than the previous one, and we condemn the announcements of the new prime minister Naftali Bennett in support of Israeli settlements,” Mohammad Shtayyeh said, referring to hundreds of thousands of Jewish Israelis who have taken land in the occupied West Bank.

Israel's new prime minister is a far-right former settler leader, who once served as a senior aide and adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu and ran Israel's education and defence ministries in his governments.

Related: Benjamin Netanyahu: the former commando who became King Bibi

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Israeli elections: Raucous scenes in Knesset as Benjamin Netanyahu ousted from...

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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year hold on power has ended as parliament voted on a new government of improbable allies. The schism was evident at a raucous session of the legislature ahead of the vote. Netanyahu loyalists, shouting ‘shame’ and ‘liar’, frequently interrupted the man set to replace him, nationalist Naftali Bennett, as he spelled out the new coalition's policies. During his last speech as prime minister, a combative Netanyahu vowed to return: ‘We will be back, soon’ he said multiple times 

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Benjamin Netanyahu: the former commando who became King Bibi

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As he leaves office, some see Israel’s longest-serving PM as ‘Mr Security’, others as someone who spurned the chance for peace

Israelis and Palestinians under the age of 30 have lived most of their lives with Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister of Israel. First elected PM in 1996 aged 46, King Bibi – as he is known by supporters and critics alike – has since then never been far from high office, which he is due to now depart aged 71.

Related: Israeli coalition ousts Netanyahu as prime minister after 12 years

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Israeli coalition ousts Netanyahu as prime minister after 12 years

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Far-right former settler leader Naftali Bennett to be installed as prime minister

Israel’s longest-serving leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been ousted from office by a loose coalition of rivals from across the political spectrum, united by their wish to end his 12-year run in power.

The opposition leader, Yair Lapid, a centrist former TV news anchor, won a confidence vote in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, by a razor-thin advantage of 60-59 seats on Sunday evening.

Related: Benjamin Netanyahu: the former commando who became King Bibi

Israel's new prime minister is a far-right former settler leader, who once served as a senior aide and adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu and ran Israel's education and defence ministries in his governments.

Thousands of Israelis celebrate at Rabin square in Tel Aviv the swearing in of the new government and the ousting of Netanyahu pic.twitter.com/vB3GHVDfui

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British backing for Israel helps to sustain the unbearable status quo...

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Diplomatic and military support – and a thriving arms trade – make the UK complicit in the oppression of Palestinians

I often tell my first-year politics students that the study of politics is the study of power. And what we saw last month, above all, was the glaring disparity in power between Israel and the Palestinians.

When Palestinians in Gaza and around the world celebrated the news of a ceasefire, breathing a sigh of relief, many commentators hailed it as a return to calm. For Palestinians, however, “calm” means a status quo of occupation, blockade, and repression.

Related: The conflict in the Middle East is sustained by the silencing of Palestinians | Ghada Karmi

Related: Why Israel fears the ICC war crimes investigation

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The Observer view on Iran’s rigged presidential election | Observer editorial

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It is not only Iranians who will suffer if a hardliner wins, it could have profound consequences for world peace

Iran’s beleaguered voters do not have much of a choice in this Friday’s presidential election. The regime, dominated by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a fiercely anti-western conservative, has cynically manipulated the contest to ensure that a like-minded hardliner, most probably Ebrahim Raisi, head of the judiciary, wins.

While the result is hardly a cliff-hanger, its impact may nonetheless be far-reaching – in Iran and internationally. The possibly negative consequences for talks on curbing Iran’s nuclear programme, for peaceful relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the west, for the wars in Syria and Yemen, for the geopolitical balance and for Iran’s own citizens are alarming.

This extraordinary country, rich in human talent, culture, history and resources, is woefully misgoverned

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