Israel. Ehud Barak, leader of the newly formed left-center alliance, One Israel, received 56.1% of the vote in the May 17 election. He thus defeated incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the conservative Likud. In the parliamentary elections (Knesset), held at the same time, things did not go so well for An Israel. The alliance took home 26 of Knesset’s 120 seats, a decrease of eight compared to the 1996 election. However, for Likud, things went even worse – the party lost 15 seats and stayed on 19 seats. The ultra-Orthodox Shas went ahead with seven mandates to 17, despite the fact that its then leader Arye Deri had been sentenced in March to four years in prison. bribery and fraud.
In early July, Barak succeeded in uniting conflicting wills in a government supported by 75 seats in the Knesset. Shas and several other religious parties were included in the coalition, but its dominant members were considered to be leading the peace process in port. Among the members of the government were David Levy, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Yitzhak Mordechai, Minister of Transport and Deputy Prime Minister, and Shimon Peres, Minister of Regional Cooperation.
Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Israel. Netanyahu resigned from the Knesset after the election, and a week later he also left his post as leader of Likud. New Likud leader became veteran politician and General Ariel Sharon, Foreign Minister in the latest Likud government.
The election brought some progress for the Palestinian minority. Nawaf Massalha from An Israel became the Palestinian who reached the highest post so far in Israel when he was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister.
During the election campaign, Barak promised an Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon within a year of taking office as head of government. Otherwise, the debate before and after the elections was characterized less by security policy and more by the relationship to Orthodox Jewish doctrine. In February, more than 200,000 Orthodox Jews outside the Supreme Court of I demonstrated in protest against what they believed was religious persecution within the legal system. In August, contradictions arose when a 250-tonne turbine was to be shipped from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon. In order for other traffic to be disturbed as little as possible, transport had been planned for a Sabbath evening. But under Orthodox law, no work is allowed on the Sabbath, and the plan caused the Orthodox government parties to threaten to leave the coalition.
Opposition between Christians and Muslims occurred around a square in the city of Nazareth on the West Bank. The city’s Christians wanted to reserve the square for pilgrims waiting for the turn of the millennium, while an Islamist organization wanted to build a mosque there. The government of I brokered an agreement that meant that the pilgrims got a smaller place than planned, while the Islamists were allowed to start building the mosque only after the New Year.
The Supreme Court ruled in September that the security service Shin Bet must not use physical force during questioning. “Mild physical pressures” were previously allowed against persons suspected of terrorist acts.
400,000 public servants strike in March for wage increases of 8.1%. The strike was canceled when the parties agreed on wage increases of 4.8%.
Israel was severely affected during the year by the drought that characterized the Middle East. In November, it rained in the country for the first time in nine months.
Roadmap for war
On September 11, Israel’s security cabinet announced that it would “remove Arafat from Palestine”. Initially, there was uncertainty as to whether the government simply wanted to deport him or whether he wanted to execute him. That doubt removed Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when, three days later, in an interview on Israeli TV, he declared that the government wanted to execute Arafat. The statement triggered fierce international condemnation – even from the United States – and the government had to declare the day after the statement stood for Olmert’s own account. However, despite its formal protests, the United States reiterated Israeli arguments a few hours later: “Arafat was the main obstacle to peace,” and on September 18, the United States, with the threat of veto, halted a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for the death threats to Arafat.
On October 4, a 29-year-old Palestinian woman from Jenin conducted a suicide attack against a Haifa restaurant. The action cost 19 lives and approx. 100 wounded. In July, the woman had her brother and cousin killed by the Israeli military. Israel immediately responded again by bombing a camp in Syria. Israel claimed it was a camp where members of Islamic Jihad were trained, but later admitted that its images of the area were 1 year old. Syria objected to the war and brought the case to the UN Security Council, where the United States, with the threat of veto, prevented the adoption of a resolution condemning Israel for escalating tension in the Middle East.
The air strike in Syria was termed by the Arab League as state terrorism and was criticized by most countries – including the Europeans. Israel declared that it would continue to attack “terrorist bases” in its neighboring countries. Several observers felt that Israel wanted to provoke Syria into counter-attacks. It would trigger a North American invasion from Iraq. The United States had already repeatedly threatened to invade Syria. But the real target of Israel’s escalation may also have been Iran. The Israeli government declared on several occasions that it regarded the Tehran clergy as its main enemy and threatened to bomb the country’s nuclear reactors.
In February 2004, Sharon surprisingly stated that he wanted to remove the Israeli settlements in Gaza and concentrate the settlements in the West Bank instead. The proposal had several purposes. First, to show Sharon as moderate to the outside world, and to turn Gaza into a large concentration camp without Israeli settlers, and instead to concentrate on settlers in the West Bank, where the original Palestinian population would be concentrated in mutually isolated Bantustans. Ultimately, Sharon’s plan in June was voted down in his own party. But the plan had borne fruit anyway. In March, the EU had prevented Israel from being placed before the International Court of Justice in The Hague for the construction of the West Bank wall.
After an elongated decision-making process and bitter resistance internally in Likud, Israeli settlements in Gaza were finally escaped in August 2005. Sharon’s rationale was clear. It was simply too costly to maintain the settlements in Gaza, and the settlements had to be concentrated in the occupied West Bank.
Due to the strong internal contradictions in Likud, Sharon broke out in October and formed a new right-wing party, Kadima. He was joined by his main allies while his most serious political opponent, Benjamin Netanyahu, remained in Likud. The scaling-up was the preparation for the implementation of Sharon’s ambitious plans for the occupied West Bank, and specifically a tactical political action up to the spring 2006 parliamentary elections, in which Sharon wanted to get rid of his political opponents in Likud. However, Sharon never managed to unveil his political plans, because in January 2006 he was struck by a severe hemorrhage that sent him into a deep coma. Ehud Olmert assumed the post of acting prime minister. Sharon’s plan with the West Bank was to abandon some settlements and in turn annex the rest of the West Bank – across international law and countless UN resolutions. This plan was now carried on by Olmert, who in the March elections together with Kadima got 22% of the vote. The Labor Party got 15% and Likud 9%.
In 2006, Israel continued its efforts to crush Palestinian self-government. The efforts were reinforced when Hamas won the Palestinian elections in January 2006 and formed the government in April. Israel again responded with withholding tax and customs revenue that would otherwise be transferred to the autonomy. At the same time, a total blockade was imposed against Gaza. The blockade, after a few months, led to a real famine in Gaza, where the hospitals had long since run out of medicine.
July 2006. New war against Palestine and Lebanon
Israel’s frustration at Palestinian autonomy did not collapse, despite Israeli economic boycott and international political and economic boycott in mid-2006 led to the military drawing up new plans for re-occupation of Gaza with the aim of crushing Hamas and self-government. There was just one pretext for the invasion. That came when a Palestinian group in late June attacked an Israeli military post outside Gaza in revenge for Israel’s massacre on the Gaza beach on June 9. 2 Israeli soldiers were killed and a third arrested and taken to Gaza. Israel is now re-invading Gaza, bombing the refugee camps and Gaza City, defaming the Palestinian ministries and kidnapping 2/3 of the Palestinian MPs. But despite Israel’s killing of hundreds of civilians and armed Palestinians, autonomy did not collapse.
On July 12, Israel launched a large-scale attack on Lebanon. The attack had been under planning for 1-2 years and just needed a pretext to get started. The attack plans were accelerated due to US plans to attack Iran. Israel and the United States acknowledged that a North American attack on Iran will trigger rocket attacks on Israel from Hezbollah’s rocket batteries in Lebanon. These should therefore be put out of play before an attack by the United States on Iran.
Therefore, on July 12, Israel sent a unit across the border to Lebanon. Hezbollah captured 2 of the invading soldiers and killed five Israeli soldiers who tried to rescue their comrades. Hezbollah declared that the two arrested soldiers could be exchanged against Lebanese political prisoners in Israel. Prison exchanges that have occasionally been conducted between the two parties since the 1990s. However, it was blatantly rejected by Israel, who had a completely different agenda.
(Seymour Hersh: Annals of National Security. Watching Lebanon (The New Yorker August 21, 2006))
Israel now had its pretext, and launched its planned attack on Lebanon. It was launched with massive attacks on southern Lebanon and the capital Beirut. bombed the country’s international airport – for the first time in 10 years. In the discourse of Israel – and in the Western media – the attack was referred to as a campaign, not as a war, and the goal as Hezbollah. However, the reality was quite another. Throughout the 32-day war, Israel used its total dominion in the air to bomb Lebanon’s infrastructure: roads, bridges, power plants, electricity supplies and large urban areas. Israel was targeted by killing as many civilians as possible with bombing of neighborhoods and refugees’ convoys. Managed. About 1100 Lebanese civilians were killed – in front of 41 civilians killed in Israel.rogue state.
From the beginning of the war, Israel declared openly that the goal was to crush Hezbollah politically and militarily. To ensure this, Israel should spend 8-10 days. Someone had forgotten that Israel tried the same in vain in 1982-2000, while occupying greater or lesser parts of Lebanon. Throughout the war, Israel and the United States also reduced this goal and the deadlines continued to grow. On the last day of the war, Hezbollah fired 250 rockets into Israel – the highest number in the entire war – and thus clearly indicated that the organization’s attack capability was unimpeded.
While Hezbollah previously rarely sent Katyuasha rockets over Israel, after Israel’s attack, this became a daily occurrence with 50-250 daily attacks sending 300,000 Israelis on the run. While Hezbollah had not previously sent rockets deeper into Israel, the organization now sent rockets over the port city of Haifa and even further south. It fell completely behind the Israeli military analysts. They also realized that Hezbollah was able to hit and lower several Israeli naval vessels participating in the blockade of Lebanon.