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Airport, Hospitals Shut As Pressure On Netanyahu To Halt Reforms Grows


Pressure on PM Benjamin Neyanyahu grows as the general strike called earlier today by the Histadrut labour organisation kicks in almost immediately. All departures from Israel's main Ben Gurion airport are grounded. non-emergency care is postponed at hospitals, and stores are closing their doors in opposition to proposed judicial reforms. Kann News' Amichai Stein reporting that Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, head of the far-right Religious Zionist Party, has given his approval to Netanyahu that the reforms can be suspended for 'several weeks'.

  • However, Smotrich's electoral ally Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, head of the ultranationalist Otzama Yehuidit, is said to be strongly opposed to a halt. There has been the implied threat that Ben-Gvir could withdraw his party's support, and its six Knesset seats, from the gov't. While this would be the 'nuclear option', if Ben-Gvir takes his party out of gov't, the Netanyahu administration loses its majority.

Chart 1. Israeli Knesset, Seats

Source:, MNI

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