At the beginning of November, Israel voted for the fifth time in four years with Benjamin Netanyahu eager for a comeback after being ousted earlier this year and replaced by Yair Lapid. Netanyahu with support from the far-right in Israel is back, but he had been in power for 12 years before Lapid who was part of the centrist Yesh Atid party, took over. Now with Netanyahu winning a majority of seats in the Israeli parliament, or the Knesset, he is expected to form the most right-wing government in Israel’s history with his Likud party, despite facing corruption charges and criticism.
Meanwhile in occupied Palestine, deadly escalations between Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Palestinians have continued, with raids and evacuations met with militant uprisings, along with Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in early November, have shaken up what has been a tumultuous month. Two blasts that struck Jerusalem on the morning of November 23 killing one and injuring at least 18 people, intensified the tension being the first bomb attack on Israeli civilians in more than six years. The night before, a Palestinian teenager was killed in crossfire during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the northern West Bank, adding to the more than 100 Palestinians killed in the conflict this year, including American-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
While the UN General Assembly voted 98-17 on Friday, November 11 to appeal to the International Court of Justice to weigh in on the legality of the Palestinian occupation with human rights groups calling it a form of apartheid, Israel and The United States were among those who opposed this motion. Netanyahu and his colleagues in the Religious Zionism and Otma Yehudit parties, are known for their relentlessly harsh stances on Palestine, and are expected to bring Israeli politics further to the right.
Between the shift in government in Israel and the rising tensions with Palestine and its increased militancy, IMAGO’s partners, including one of its newest members APAimages, are covering the chaotic realities and sociopolitical situation in the region.