The London Guardian’s foreign affairs commentator Simon Tisdal wrote Nov. 21, before the hostage agreement was announced, that “the pressure on Netanyahu is starting to tell—this potential truce shows something has changed.” Tisdall argues that the deal, “if confirmed, would reflect a change of course by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.… Netanyahu and his war cabinet, which includes the hardline Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, have come under intense pressure to do more from the families of the hostages, who staged a huge, five-day march to Jerusalem last week…. Israeli commentators attribute the apparent change of heart at the top to this effective lobbying by relatives.”
Tisdall adds: “Netanyahu’s shift may have been critically influenced by his personal encounter with hostage families, after weeks during which he refused to meet them. Netanyahu and his Likud party have lost the trust and confidence of most voters, who blame them for 7 October lapses and complacency. Polls suggest they would lose an election if one were held now. As ever, calculation is mixed with compassion.… Yair Lapid, the main opposition leader, is already demanding Netanyahu stands down….