While the fear of a generalized conflict in the Middle East remains, criticism of Israel’s prime minister is growing, with the majority of Israelis convinced that Netanyahu and his government are responsible for the impasse.

“Anger towards Netanyahu is huge across the country,” comments Spiegel magazine. “In recent months, many citizens have seen how Netanyahu is dividing the country, as well as how the planned judicial reform, which aims to eliminate the separation of powers, has divided Israeli society. But after the violent attack by Hamas on October 7 people are increasingly realizing that Netanyahu and his far-right and nationalist-Orthodox allies have failed the country and its citizens.

In recent weeks, the military and intelligence agencies have repeatedly warned that the dispute over judicial reform is weakening Israel, something that enemies of the Jewish state will take advantage of and attack the country. But Netanyahu wasn’t listening: All he wanted was to find a way to end the legal proceedings where he was on trial for corruption. If Netanyahu is convicted, he could face prison terms. […] To this end, Netanyahu sacrificed everything: the unity of the country, the economy, even security”, writes the German media, concluding that, as it seems, Netanyahu “has already lost the first war, the one inside the country of”.

Egypt’s pivotal role

With the evacuation of northern Gaza underway, the role of Egypt, the only country other than Israel that borders the Gaza Strip, is crucial.

According to the tageszeitung, “Egypt is the main hope of those who are there. This applies both to the hostages in the hands of Hamas, who are pinning their hopes on the negotiations, and to the Palestinians who want to leave. However, the Rafah border crossing remains closed.
This is not about the complete evacuation of the Gaza Strip now, nor is it about moving people to Egypt permanently. On the contrary, it would constitute a temporary escape route that would end with the last day of the war.”

As the Berlin newspaper explains, “Egypt’s concern is that Hamas fighters could mix with the refugees, a well-founded concern. Cairo already has enough problems with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, which works closely with Hamas. Security concerns must be taken seriously, but much could be achieved if children and women were allowed to escape. Egypt should not shirk its responsibilities so easily now. Since the U.S. pay up to $1.3 billion a year for military purposes in the country, it would be worth freezing the payments in order to increase pressure on Cairo to open the borders,” taz concludes.