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Fears of fragile ceasefire in Gaza as Netanyahu warns Hamas against further aggression

The ceasefire has held for 12+ hours, but people in Israel worry that they'll be back to a conflict in several months.

Why it matters: Israel doesn't have a stable government that can make a meaningful change in policy.

  • At a press conference on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would respond with "a new level of force" to further Hamas aggression, warning that if the Palestinian militant group "thinks we will tolerate a drizzle of rockets, it is wrong."
  • Netanyahu said all of his phone calls with President Biden were warm and friendly, and that Biden gave Israel full backing during the operation.

The big picture: The Israeli middle class — in Tel Aviv and surrounding cities — felt the conflict in a much more direct way than in the past.

  • This wasn't the first time Hamas fired on Tel Aviv. But this time, the number of rockets was massive. Millions of Israelis felt it directly, and realized how those who live in southern Israel, close to Gaza, have felt over the last 15 years.

For many Israelis, the most shocking thing was the violence between Jews and Arabs inside Israel.

  • It surfaced hatred among part of the Arab minority against the state that people didn't think existed. And it exposed deep racism among part of the Jewish population toward Arabs.
  • This wound will take a long time to heal.

What to watch: Secretary of State Blinken will travel to Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the coming days, his first trip to the region.

  • The visit will focus on stabilizing the ceasefire and discussing humanitarian relief and reconstruction in Gaza, where over 200 Palestinians have been killed and thousands have seen their homes decimated.

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