Israel Defense Minister Resigns, Hamas Claims Victory

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Lieberman's resignation will take effect in 48 hours and Netanyahu will take over on an interim basis. "We are buying short-term calm for long-term harm to security".

Lieberman's resignation significantly weakens Netanyahu's ruling coalition government and appears likely to bring about an early election.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the move, saying he wanted to avoid war if it was not necessary.

Hamas and other Gaza terror groups said earlier Tuesday afternoon that they had accepted an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire with Israel. "Our enemies begged for a cease-fire and they know well why".

Dozens of residents of communities near the Gaza border have burned tyres and blocked roads in protest at what they called the "lack of action by the Israeli government" to deal with the threat of Palestinian rocket attacks.

Israel's agreement to a ceasefire after this week's escalation over Gaza has prompted protests in Israel among those demanding a harsher blow against Hamas. In Israel, the hundreds of rocket strikes resulted in only one death so far.

Israel had launched a series of blistering air strikes against targets in Gaza after Hamas militants persisted in launching rockets at targets in Israel.

Israeli troops have killed more that 220 Palestinians during those confrontations, which have included border breaches.

Seven Palestinians were killed in Gaza as Israeli strikes targeted militants and flattened buildings in the worst escalation of violence since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

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Chairman of Habayit Hayehudi Knesset faction MK Shuli Mualem-Refaeli called on Netanyahu to appoint her party's chairman, Naftali Bennett, as defense minister, threatening that "without the defense portfolio, Habayit Hayehudi will not continue as a partner in this government", she said.

Islamic Jihad also saw the resignation as "a victory to our people's steadfast resistance to the occupation".

After Israeli attacks on Gaza on Monday, seven Palestinians were killed and 25 others wounded.

Liberman's announcement came less than 24 hours after the cabinet approved an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Hamas in Gaza.

Fire and smoke billow following Israeli airstrikes targeting Hamas infrastructure in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, near the border with Egypt, on November 12, 2018.

Israel Ziv, a retired general who once commanded the Israeli military's Gaza division, said Netanyahu was running out of options for dealing with Hamas.

Israel maintains a crippling blockade of the Palestinian enclave to isolate Hamas and prevent it from building up its military capabilities. In Israel in people have been burning tires in the streets to demonstrate against the "soft hand" against Gaza.

United Nations and Egyptian mediators had been making progress in recent weeks toward informal understandings between Israel and Hamas that would ease the blockade in exchange for ratcheting down the border protests.

The Gaza health ministry says that 25 people have been injured.

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