Protesters gather for anti-government demonstration in Israel | AFP

Thousands of Israelis protest in Jerusalem demanding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation over his government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Protestors rally outside Netanyahu’s residence holding up signs accusing him of corruption, a reference to the premier’s indictment in January for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three cases. He denies all the charges. N°1VS663

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Protesters gather for anti-government demonstration in Israel | AFP

Thousands of Israelis protest in Jerusalem to demand Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation over his government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Police deployed water cannon and arrested a number of protesters.

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Israelis feel relieved by unity government deal but weary about the future | AFP

Israelis in Jerusalem and Tel Avivi share their thoughts after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached a historic deal with one-time rival parliament speaker Benny Gantz to form a unity government, ending the country’s worst-ever political crisis.

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Israelis in Tel Aviv react to Trump peace plan | AFP

Israelis react to US President Donald Trump’s long delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, that promised “a new dawn” for the region.

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Israelis react to Iranian top commander Soleimani’s death | AFP

Israelis in Tel Aviv react to the death of Iranian top commander Qasem Soleimani who was killed last week in a US drone strike that inflamed tensions across the Middle East, as NATO prepares to discuss the spiralling crisis.

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Israelis protest against Leviathan field beginning to pump gas | AFP

Israelis hold a demonstration against Israel’s offshore Leviathan field which started production today, in the coastal city of Tel Israel’s offshore Leviathan field started pumping gas today in what the operating consortium called “a historic turning point in the history of the Israeli economy.”

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Israelis react to election results | AFP

Israelis in Jerusalem react to yesterday election results. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main challenger Benny Gantz were deadlocked Wednesday after an Israeli general election, reports said, raising the possibility of a unity government or even the end of the premier’s long rule.

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Netanyahu, Gantz vote in Israeli election

Israelis voted Tuesday in an unprecedented repeat election. It’s the second showdown this year for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and challenger Benny Gantz. Netayahu is seeking a fifth term and faces a possible corruption indictment. (Sept. 17)

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Israel to decide Netanyahu’s fate in election rerun | AFP

Israelis react ahead of voting in a high-stakes election rerun as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu battles for political survival on September 17.

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Israelis call to sack education minister over gay therapy comments | AFP

Israelis hold protest against Israeli Education Minister Rafi Peretz who has spoken of his belief in therapy to convert gays to heterosexuality and claimed he has engaged in the practice, leading to calls for him to be sacked. IMAGES

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RAW: Huge smoke clouds from IDF airstrikes cover the sky in Gaza

Almost a dozen Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed as well as scores injured on both sides in an ongoing spate of violence that saw hundreds of rockets launched by Gaza militants and massive air strikes by Israel.

At least nine Palestinians, including seven civilians and two militants, have died in the Israeli strikes targeting the Gaza Strip since Saturday, the Gaza Health Ministry said, adding that dozens more have been injured. A pregnant woman and her 14-month-old baby were among those killed.

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Israeli death toll rises to three following strikes from Gaza

Almost a dozen Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed as well as scores injured on both sides in an ongoing spate of violence that saw hundreds of rockets launched by Gaza militants and massive air strikes by Israel.

At least nine Palestinians, including seven civilians and two militants, have died in the Israeli strikes targeting the Gaza Strip since Saturday, the Gaza Health Ministry said, adding that dozens more have been injured. A pregnant woman and her 14-month-old baby were among those killed.

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RAW: Strikes destroy building in Gaza as Israeli attacks continue

Explosions rocked the Al-Shojaeya neighborhood east of Gaza City, Sunday, with heavy smoke seen rising above the streets, as a four-story building was reportedly hit and destroyed by an Israeli airstrike.

Israeli forces have been conducting raids on alleged Hamas targets in Gaza, claiming it to be a response to hundreds of rockets fired on Israel from the enclave.

At least eight Palestinians and three Israelis have reportedly been killed in the attacks conducted by both sides during the weekend.

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Israel’s Netanyahu slams anti-Semitism at Holocaust ceremony

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounce a rise in anti-Semitism around the world, at a ceremony on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, pointedly referring to Saturday’s shooting in a California synagogue that killed one person and wounded three others, two of them Israelis.

Collective punishment? IDF demolishes house of Palestinian who killed 2 Israelis

The Israeli military says its forces have demolished the home of a Palestinian who killed two Israelis in a shooting and stabbing spree last month.

Israel says 19-year-old Omar Abu Layla stabbed a soldier to death and shot another dead while wounding others near the settlement of Ariel in March. He was killed by Israeli troops after a massive three-day manhunt.

Israel often demolishes homes of alleged Palestinian assailants or their families, saying it deters future attacks. Rights groups say the demolitions amount to collective punishment.

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Israel at the polls for high-stake election

Israelis are voting in a high-stakes election that will decide whether to extend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s long right-wing tenure or to replace him with ex-military chief Benny Gantz. The newcomer has mounted a strong challenge to the veteran prime minister by brandishing his security credentials while pledging to undo damage he says Netanyahu has inflicted on the country with divisive politics.

Israelis Head To The Polls With A Choice: Right Or Righter (HBO)

Eyal Hajbi has been on high alert since a rocket launched from Gaza landed near Tel Aviv two weeks ago. As the official responsible for the security of the 25,000 people living in Sderot, a village less than a mile off the fence with Gaza, rockets are virtually all Hajbi has thought about.

Well, rockets and Israel’s upcoming elections this Tuesday. And like a lot of Israelis here, Hajbi has already made up his mind: he’s voting for Likud, the party of four-term prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He supports Netanyahu’s tough stance toward Palestinians and security, and his increasingly right-wing views about the future of Israel.

“I love how he represents us in the world,” Hajbi told VICE News. “I have only one view: One state. The whole land of Israel. We shouldn’t give up on any part of it.”

But Israelis like Hajbi that live close to Gaza are far from the only ones turning out for Netanyahu. Despite mounting bribery and corruption charges, and a recent alliance with outwardly racist politicians, Netanyahu enjoys overwhelming support across the country ahead of Tuesday’s elections.

His party’s only real challenger is from a newly-formed centrist alliance called Blue and White, led by Benny Gantz, who’s framing himself as Bibi but without the baggage. “I think we will be able to unify the country by far more than what Netanyahu is doing right now,” Gantz told VICE News.

But don’t mistake Gantz for a left-wing alternative to Netanyahu’s increasingly right-wing rule. At an event for English-speaking voters in Tel Aviv last week, Gantz suggested Blue an White would try to copy the four-term prime minister’s strategy, and partner with hardline right-wing religious parties to form a governing majority.

As for the traditional left, it’s been conspicuously absent from the conversation. There’s a reason for that: Only 12 percent of Israelis now identify as left-wing, according to a recent survey.

“He was a good soldier, a good officer, sometimes I think if I had convinced him to stay in the military, maybe he would have done a lot less damage to Israel.”

For the country’s last bonafide left-wing prime minister, Ehud Barak, this is a frustrating development. Barak’s concerned about what the absence of a strong left has done to Israel’s national politics, including the effect it’s had on Netanyahu, a politician he once served beside in the army.

“He was a good soldier, a good officer, sometimes I think if I had convinced him to stay in the military, maybe he would have done a lot less damage to Israel,” Barak told VICE News.

Barak was the last prime minister candidate to oust Netanyahu out of office in 1999. But since then, Bibi has held onto power, in part by moving Israeli politics further and further to the right. Most recently he formed an alliance with an ultra-nationalist extremist right wing party called Jewish Power, that was inspired by Meir Kahane who advocated for the forced removal of Palestinians.

“Bibi, under the pressure, and because of his own interest, finds himself in a situation where those zealots, crazy racist zealots are dictating to him how to run the government and they are blocking the democratic life of Israel, and that should be rejected by the people.”

Now more than ever, as Israel continues to move more and more to the right, Barak says a strong opposition is necessary to start a difficult conversation, even if they can’t defeat Netanyahu’s coalition.

“Sometimes the people are wrong. Someone has to help them to open their eyes. It is usually the opposition.”

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Hopefuls step up anti-Palestinian posturing as Israeli PM race looms

Israelis are gearing up to elect their next PM.

As polling day looms, one predominantly Arab party is begging voters not to elect those who have blood on their hands – something some contenders are boasting about in their campaign videos.

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