24 January, 2021

The Devil's Alternative

Premier Netanyahu faces the wrath of Jewish settlers over the Hebron talks

The Devil's Alternative

THE long, tough negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians over Hebron seem to be coming to an end—but Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's problems have just begun. As the prospect of handing over Hebron to the Palestinians, as per the Oslo peace agreement, draws closer, Netanyahu faces increasing dissent from hardliners within his own government as well as Jewish settlers, who were partly responsible for his election.

But more importantly, the Netanyahu government faces its gravest danger in the form of mistrust between his regime and the security establishment. This is not to say that a sensational coup d'etat is on the anvil, but the government's image among the electorate at large could be irrevocably damaged. For, Netanyahu's electoral ticket to the chair of prime minister was his emphasis on security.

On December 24, Netanyahu and the Palestinian National Authority chief, Yasser Arafat, met for four hours at the Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. They were accompanied by the US envoy for West...



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