Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, known for his security expertise, now faces one of the worst security failures in Israel’s history. More than 200 hostages were seized by Palestinian Hamas gunmen from Gaza, resulting in the deaths of 1,400 people. The magnitude of the attack and the trauma inflicted on the southern Israeli communities near Gaza have deeply affected the country.
Netanyahu, serving his sixth term as prime minister, leads one of Israel’s most right-wing coalitions. As outrage grows over the security failures that allowed the attack to occur, Netanyahu has faced increasing pressure. However, he has refused to take responsibility, instead stating that difficult questions will be addressed once the war with Hamas concludes.
Opinion polls show a significant majority blaming Netanyahu for the crisis, with former Defence Minister Benny Gantz emerging as the favored candidate for prime minister. Netanyahu’s popularity had already been weakened by corruption charges and a contentious battle over Supreme Court powers.
Currently, political consequences are on hold as Israeli airstrikes and tank operations continue in Gaza. The success of this operation, which aims to permanently dismantle Hamas, and the continued support of Netanyahu’s own party will determine his future. Calls for change are growing louder, with demands for the government to deliver on its promised eradication of Hamas.
In addition to the military and political challenges, Netanyahu faces scrutiny on the international stage. His alliance with hardline religious and nationalist parties has raised suspicions globally. The scale of casualties during the bombing of Gaza has led to mounting international alarm. The economy has also suffered, with businesses reporting significant drops in revenue, compounded by uncertainty surrounding judicial reforms.
Netanyahu’s recent behavior has raised concerns about his fitness to serve as prime minister. His erratic actions, such as blaming intelligence chiefs for failing to warn him of the attack in a late-night tweet, have drawn criticism and further damaged his reputation. Calls for his resignation or removal have intensified.
The future for Netanyahu remains uncertain. The outcome of the operation in Gaza, the support of his party, and the growing demands for change will shape his political destiny.