Israeli News: A Daily Analysis

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

February 23, 2009--Next Government Led By Netanyahu Will Have to Deal With Ceasefire and Hamas

Two things have become abundantly clear in the last 24 hours. The next government of Israel will be a narrow right of center government, without the participation of either Kadima or Labor. That new government will have to deal with the ceasefire with Hamas and negotiations with Hamas over Gilad Shalit.

After the meeting between MK Netanyahu and Minister of Foreign Affairs Livni last night, it is obvious that the chance of any agreement between Likud and Kadima are between slim and none. Today Netanyahu met with Minister of Defense Barak. Barak would probably be happy to join a Netanyahu government, but his party (Labor) will not allow that. There is no way Livni can say that Kadima will stay out of the coalition because Netanyahu would not commit to a two state solution and then Labor would join that very same coalition.

In the meantime Prime Minister Olmert in his sunset days has fired Amos Gilad, the negotiator responsible for negotiations with Egypt. Olmert fired Gilad for criticizing him in a newspaper article. Gilad has a close relationship with the Egyptians and most observers believe that this dooms any chance of reaching an agreement before a new government is formed.