Israeli PM Netanyahu Rejects Military’s Plan for Tactical Pauses in Gaza

Prime Minister Criticizes Daily Ceasefire Plan to Allow Humanitarian Aid Delivery Amidst Growing Crisis.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the military’s announcement on Sunday to implement daily tactical pauses in fighting along one of the main roads into Gaza to facilitate aid delivery into the Palestinian enclave. The military’s plan detailed daily pauses from 0500 GMT until 1600 GMT in the area from the Kerem Shalom Crossing to the Salah al-Din Road and then northwards.

An Israeli official reported, “When the prime minister heard the reports of an 11-hour humanitarian pause in the morning, he turned to his military secretary and made it clear that this was unacceptable to him.” Netanyahu’s reaction highlights the political tensions surrounding aid deliveries to Gaza, where international organizations have warned of an escalating humanitarian crisis.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who leads one of the nationalist religious parties in Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, strongly denounced the tactical pause. He labeled the decision as foolish and called for the dismissal of whoever was responsible.

The military clarified that despite the tactical pauses, normal operations would continue in Rafah, the main focus of its operation in southern Gaza, where eight soldiers were killed on Saturday.

The decision to implement daily “tactical pauses” was made following discussions with the United Nations and international aid organizations. The pause aims to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid in the Rafah area, stretching from the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza to Salah al-Din Road and the European Hospital in Khan Younis City.

More than eight months of Israeli onslaught in the Gaza Strip have led to a severe humanitarian crisis. The United Nations has described the situation as “catastrophic,” with widespread hunger throughout the enclave. The Hamas-run media office in Gaza reported that about 98 percent of the children in Gaza lack access to clean drinking water, relying on less than three liters of water per day. Approximately 82,000 children exhibit signs of malnutrition, with 35 percent experiencing severe symptoms. Furthermore, around 3,500 children are at risk of death due to malnutrition and inadequate medical care.

Netanyahu’s stance against the tactical pauses underscores the complex and fraught nature of the conflict, where humanitarian concerns are entangled with political and military strategies. The ongoing situation in Gaza continues to draw international attention and calls for urgent humanitarian intervention.

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