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It is Israel's greatest security crisis in years, a tragedy for Palestinian and Israeli civilians that has already claimed dozens of lives and threatens to destroy what is left of the Middle East peace process.
But for one man at least, the crisis in Gaza and mixed Arab-Jewish cities inside Israel has an undeniable silver lining.
At the start of this week, it looked like Benjamin Netanyahu's number was finally up.
After weeks of talks, opposition parties - including the Arab Ra'am - were about to muster a majority in the Knesset, finally overcoming the Likud leader’s political dominance and potentially ending his 12-year stint as prime minister.
Then, tensions in east Jerusalem exploded, riots broke out in mixed Arab-Israeli towns, and Hamas fired its biggest rocket barrage from Gaza to date.
Suddenly, a coalition between Arab and right-wing Jewish parties was politically impossible.
On Thursday, Naftali Bennett, the leader of the right-wing Yamina party and the probable prime minister of the “government of change,” bailed out of coalition talks.
According to Israeli media reports, he is now speaking to Mr Netanyahu about entering a Likud-led government instead.
Mansour Abbas, the leader of the Arab Ra’am party, confirmed talks would be frozen until the Jewish-Arab violence tearing through mixed cities abated.
"Netanyahu was on the ropes at the beginning of this week. the opposition parties were poised to muster a majority,” said Anshel Pfeffer, the author of the biography Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu.
"Netanyahu's preoccupation with his own political and legal problems is part of the reason why he has not reined in Israeli police's heavy handedness in Jerusalem, and part of this rapid escalation of the crisis can be explained by that preoccupation.
"He is under a huge amount of criticism in Israel especially over the breakdown of law and order within Israel in mixed Jewish-Arab towns," he added. "That said, there is a silver lining for him here."
The “government of change” was a creative arrangement even by the standards of the Knesset, where no party holds an absolute majority and knotty coalition building is the norm.
It would have seen Mr Bennett, a fire-breathing right-winger who over the years has been in and out of coalition with Mr Netanyahu, enter a power sharing agreement with Yair Lapid, the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party.
But to make a majority, they also needed the backing of the Islamist Ra’am party - making the small Arab party an unusual kingmaker in Israeli politics.
No one is saying Mr Netanyahu engineered the current crisis for his own benefit. And the crisis is far from an unalloyed boon.
Many Israelis are furious with him over his perceived mishandling of the crisis so far.
Mr Lapid has said Mr Bennett is wrong to quit the talks and promised to continue trying to build an alternative government - although it is unclear how he can now do so.
Mr Bennett, of course, has never made much secret of his own prime ministerial ambitions, and he could well come back to talks with Ra’am when he thinks his voters will wear it.
And none of this makes Mr Netanyahu’s greatest headache go away.
Despite periodic delays and postponements due to Covid, his trial on corruption charges that began one year ago continues.