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Israel Protesters Demand New Elections During Wartime as Netanyahu Warns it Would Endanger Nation

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JERUSALEM, Israel – The main organization representing families of hostages formally joined protests for the largest anti-government rallies in Israel since the October 7th massacre.

They want Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition out because it's failed so far to free the hostages held by Hamas.

Others are the same protesters who have wanted Netanyahu out for the last 18 months, now attaching themselves to the hostages issue as a new way to oust the prime minister.

Protester Keren Saar declared, "This is a government that has failed us repeatedly from last year when they tried to pass the judicial overhaul."

Labor Party Knesset member Gilad Kariv stated, "Six months after the massacre of October 7th, that in order to win, we need new leadership – in order to bring back the hostages, we need new leadership."

Another group representing the hostage families issued a statement saying "A significant number of the abductees' families are shocked by the political activity."

Just before the prime minister underwent a successful hernia surgery Sunday night, he held a news conference. "Anyone who says I'm not doing everything I can to bring back the hostages is wrong and is misleading," Netanyahu said.

He also struck back at calls for new elections, suggesting it would endanger the country just weeks before the military defeats Hamas.

"They will paralyze the negotiations for the release of our hostages, they will bring the war to an end before the completion of its objectives - and the first to bless it will be Hamas, and that says everything," Netanyahu explained.

Indicating that Israel is on the cusp of victory, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant quoted Hamas leaders captured recently in places such as Gaza's embattled Shifa Hospital. "They say Hamas is collapsing from within," Gallant affirmed.

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As for the Biden administration, it's been publicly feuding with Israel over how costly the war is in terms of lives lost.

Still, the U.S. is quietly okaying shipments of fighter jets and thousands of bombs to Israeli forces. The White House apparently assessed that cutting off the desperately needed weapons is a step too far in attempts to influence Israel.

Meanwhile, Easter Sunday saw diminished Arab crowds in Bethlehem marking Christ's resurrection.

Few people came to worship at Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed by many to be the site of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.

But at the nearby Garden Tomb – thought by others to be where the Lord rose from the dead – a large crowd showed up for the Easter sunrise service.

Viewers can still catch that celebration here.

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CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief In a time where the world's attention is riveted on events in the Middle East, CBN viewers have come to appreciate Chris Mitchell's timely reports from this explosive region of the world. Mitchell brings a Biblical and prophetic perspective to these daily news events that shape our world. Chris first began reporting on the Middle East in the mid-1990s. He repeatedly traveled there to report on the religious and political issues facing Israel and the surrounding Arab states. One of his more significant reports focused on the emigration of persecuted Christians