First 100 days of Netanyahu’s government are characterized by failure

Adnan Abu Amer

Middle East Monitor  /   April 18, 2023

The deteriorating security situation has given Israelis a great opportunity to list the failures of the new government 100 days after its formation. Members of the current coalition admit that many electoral plans and promises have not yet been fulfilled, and it is not clear whether they can be considering the prevailing circumstances.

Before his election, Benjamin Netanyahu was full of promises about the economy, the cost of living and housing, as well as personal security, but the fact that the government immediately pushed for a judicial coup pushed those issues aside.

In terms of dealing with the Palestinian resistance, the government was repeatedly strongly criticized by prominent ministers for being lenient and the government did not appear ready for a military offensive in the occupied West Bank.

Despite government promises, Israel did not take steps to combat crime among Palestinians citizens of Israel. In addition, there is a deep disagreement and lack of confidence between Police Chief Kobi Shabtai and Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, who did not deliver many of his electoral promises, claiming that he suffers from a massive shortage of manpower. His critics say that instead of being busy recruiting forces, he’s always fighting leaks from the police.

Regarding the normalization agreements, Netanyahu hinted during the elections to the warming of relations with other countries in the region, as part of a move to expand the so-called ‘Abraham Accords‘. However, since the start of the legal coup, and the increase in security tensions, this warmth seems to have disappeared, and Saudi Arabia renewed its relations with Iran, which caused serious strategic harm to Israel.

A hundred days since the coalition government took office, it is clear that it has failed to deliver what it promised voters during the elections. Mass protests have been seen across the country, with roads blocked and confrontations with the police. It is obvious that Israel is in a much worse position now than it was before the formation of the coalition.

The new government also had obvious security failures; whether related to Al-Aqsa Mosque, the escalation of tension with the besieged Gaza Strip, the growth of resistance operations in the occupied West Bank, or the outbreak of the Lebanon front.

Netanyahu and his ministers are not claiming responsibility for the deterioration of the security situation and have blamed the previous government. The Netanyahu government insists on dealing with this with no clear strategy and inconsistent decisions.

The second security failure for Netanyahu’s government during the first 100 days was the firing of dozens of missiles by Hamas from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government did not respond to many of them. Meanwhile, armed operations in the West Bank and within the Green Line escalated, which witnessed many Israeli deaths. Since March 2022, commando operations in Beersheba, Hadera, Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv and Elad have escalated, with the government unable to stop them.

To its north, Israel was shelled with Hamas missiles from Lebanon, in what many say could only have taken place with Hezbollah’s approval. Though Tel Aviv responded to the air strikes by shelling the south of Lebanon, its response was weak and ineffective.

This weak response can be seen in Israel’s response to Iran since the new coalition has taken office. The agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran led by China is a clear example of this, it has brought Tehran out of relative obscurity especially after it supplied weapons to Russia.

While Prime Minister Netanyahu carries himself as a leader capable of calming security and military storms. These matters paint a more accurate picture of the failure of his administration, which will certainly affect his popularity on the one hand and increase the security risks on the other hand.

Adnan Abu Amer is the head of the Political Science Department at the University of the Ummah in Gaza