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Forums - Politics Discussion - Israel-Hamas war, Gaza genocide

Israel’s government, not war cabinet, should be dissolved: Lapid

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid has reacted to Netanyahu’s move to disband the war cabinet, stating that it should be his government that loses power instead.

Lapid, who heads Israel’s centrist Yesh Atid party, has been a prominent figure in antigovernment protests sweeping Israel. He has called on the government to strike a deal with Hamas to bring home the captives and repeatedly urged Netanyahu to resign.


Lapid attempting to block ultra-Orthodox military exemption bill: Report

Lapid, who opposes a draft bill on military exemption for ultra-Orthodox students, has met with members of his party to strategise on how to block the bill’s passage, according to The Times of Israel.

The bill, pushed by Israel’s government, would lower the age at which ultra-Orthodox students can be exempt from military service from 26 to 21, while only slowly increasing their conscription rate.

The legislation has prompted outrage among many Israelis who feel the ultra-Orthodox, traditionally exempt from military service, are not pulling their weight during the war.

Lapid, speaking to members of his party who will debate the bill in parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Committee, said he believes “there are decent people in the committee from all factions of the house whose conscience and values ​​will not allow them to pass the law as it is”.

During the war, Israel has called up hundreds of thousands of reservists to fight. And “due to an urgent need for more troops”, the government is now proposing delaying the retirement age for reservists by a year, further exacerbating tensions over ultra-Orthodox exemptions.


Israel’s Labor leader slams Netanyahu for exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews from army duty

Yair Golan, leader of Israel’s Labor Party and former deputy chief of staff of the Israeli army, says it is “infuriating” to see Netanyahu granting an exemption from military service to ultra-Orthodox Jews.

He accused Netanyahu’s government of choosing “to seriously undermine [Israel’s] national security”. “This bad government has chosen to increase the burden on those serving in the ranks of the compulsory army and the reserves and to continue giving political bribes to coalition partners on the backs of all our sons and daughters,” Golan added.

Israeli soldiers with disabilities, PTSD accuse state of not providing care: Report

Israeli soldiers living with disabilities and PTSD have testified to the Knesset’s State Audit Committee, accusing the government of ignoring their plight.

Avichai Levy, a soldier with PTSD, lashed out during a discussion on the Defence Ministry’s treatment of post-trauma soldiers from the current assault on Gaza.

“How many Eliran Mizrahis do you need? Why lie to us? My friends have been taken hostage and others are experiencing missiles and shootings all day. All the ministers are ignoring us. They have all turned their backs on us. They are all spitting in our faces. They underestimate our intelligence,” Levy said, according to Israel National News.

Mizrahi was a bulldozer operator who served in Gaza and suffered from PTSD, taking his own life earlier this month.

Haaretz reported that Aviram Atias, a combat soldier and another friend of Mizrahi, said he wakes up screaming at night. “I thought I’d draw strength here, and I’m leaving here even more crushed… If someone here was bleeding to death, everyone would jump in to help. But that’s what’s actually happening, and we’re all bleeding to death here,” he said.

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Violence along Israel-Lebanon border is a deep political issue in Israel

US special adviser Amos Hochstein has met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and is set to meet with Israeli minister Benny Gantz, who quit Netanyahu’s emergency government last week.

The meetings are part of what the White House says is an attempt to stop further escalation along the Blue Line, the unofficial border between Israel and Lebanon. There’s been a huge uptick in violence, fighting, and exchanges of rockets across that border in the last week or so.

The border is a political issue in Israel because about 60,000 people evacuated from towns and villages there since October. In the last 24 hours, an Israeli military spokesman said Hezbollah’s increasing aggression is bringing us to the brink of what could be a wider escalation.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu has disbanded the war cabinet that was formed as part of an emergency government in the days after October 7, essentially to give this idea of national unity as Israel launched its war on Gaza.

Gantz’s departure from the cabinet left Netanyahu exposed to demands from Itamar Ben-Gvir and other far-right ministers demanding to be let into this war cabinet. Rather than let them do that, Netanyahu has just disbanded it.

Israel’s war cabinet dissolution may escalate aggression in Gaza, Lebanon

Alon Liel, a former director of Israel’s foreign ministry and former Israeli ambassador to South Africa, has told Al Jazeera that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet dissolution may escalate aggression in Gaza and Lebanon.

More on Israel’s attack on car in Lebanon’s Chehabiyeh

We have reported earlier that an Israeli drone attacked a car on the outskirts of southern Lebanon’s Chehabiyeh, reportedly killing a man.

Hezbollah now confirms that one of its members, Muhammad Mustafa Ayoub, also known as Jalal, was killed in that attack. He was 45 years old, the Lebanese armed group said in a statement on Telegram.

Gaza government decries Israel’s ‘use of starvation to achieve political goals in Gaza’

Gaza’s Government Media Office has accused Israel and the US of “purposefully” worsening famine-like conditions in Gaza by “withholding humanitarian aid as a tool for political pressure”. In a statement, the media office accused Israel and the US administration of “deliberately aggravating the humanitarian situation” in Gaza to achieve political goals.

About 2.4 million Palestinians are living under harsh conditions, especially in Gaza’s north where famine has taken hold, the media office said. Tens of thousands of sick and wounded people have no access to food or medicine, it added.

Israel has closed almost all of its crossings into Gaza and has severely restricted aid deliveries through the one crossing that has been sporadically open.

‘People started this catastrophe and people can stop it’: Norwegian minister

Norway’s international development minister, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, has spoken to our colleagues at Al Jazeera Arabic about her country’s decision to increase its contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

“People started this catastrophe [in Gaza] and people can stop it … The extra Norwegian contribution is in line with what we always do vis-a-vis UNRWA and we are also lobbying on its behalf with other stakeholders, telling them it’s vital not only for the people in Gaza but also for all Palestinians and there is no alternative for UNRWA,” she said.

“A country like Norway will do all it can diplomatically to get aid into Gaza, but we also have to plan for the day after so the international community has to work for a ceasefire and for the day after,” Tvinnereim added.

“Many countries in the region are taking the lead now and Norway is happy to support this,” she said.

Badly burned and no escape: Girl, 9, among thousands of critical patients stuck in Gaza

Hanan Aqel and her sister had one shekel each in their hands, a gift from their grandfather to go and buy sweets. It was a glimmer of familial normality in Gaza for a nine-year-old and her younger sibling that ended in tragedy.

“I didn’t hear its whizzing or anything, I only saw a red light when the missile fell,” Hanan recalls from her hospital bed in Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in central Gaza.

Her voice is hoarse and cracked, following reconstructive surgery to her face. She has 20% burns to her face, hands, chest, and leg. Her sister, five-year-old Leene, who was walking ahead of her, escaped injury.

“There was a man next to me dismembered and bleeding and a block of building cement fell on me,” Hanan says.

After the airstrike, her father rushed her to hospital, where she also had surgery to remove shrapnel from her face. Her doctor, Mahmoud Mahane, specializes in burns and eye injuries, but says there is nothing more they can do for her inside Gaza.

Hanan is one of thousands of critically ill patients waiting for medical evacuation from Gaza but unable to leave following the closure of the Rafah crossing to Egypt in early May.

The only hope for many is to be evacuated through the Rafah crossing into Egypt and get treatment in neighboring countries. That lifeline has been cut off since May 7 when the Israeli military took control of the crossing and closed it. Egypt says it will not open the crossing until the Israeli military withdraws. It cites security reasons – one Egyptian soldier was killed last month in fighting along the border.

And Israel has further destroyed the Rafah crossing today, re-opening will take a lot of reconstruction first.

10,000 need evacuating

Rik Peeperkorn is the World Health Organization’s representative for the West Bank and Gaza. He says there are at least 10,000 urgent cases that need to be evacuated from Gaza for treatment, adding this is likely an under-estimate given the difficulty getting accurate data.

“The biggest group is the war injuries and war-related … the severe trauma, spinal injury, etc. The other biggest group is, of course, chronic conditions – oncology, cardiovascular, respiratory as well.”

Before the war, Peeperkorn says between 50 and 100 patients would leave daily to be treated in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Since May 7, not one single case has been able to leave through Rafah, creating a backlog of desperation and severe cases.

“The Rafah crossing should be reopened as quickly as possible,” Peeperkorn says, “or there should be an alternative crossing or mechanism actually applied because we cannot leave these critical patients. We have no estimation at the moment how many of the patients which should have left actually have already passed away.

US, UK warplanes hit Yemeni island in Red Sea

Houthi-affiliated media outlet Al-Masirah says US and UK forces carried out four air raids on Kamaran Island.

The Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa and present themselves as Yemen’s official armed forces, have attacked shipping lanes in the Red Sea and fired missiles and drones at Israeli targets for months in a show of support for Palestinians in Gaza.

The group’s operations have angered the United States and other Western nations. The US and its allies have bombed Houthi targets in Yemen since January, but the military campaign has not deterred Houthi attacks.

Series of air strikes carried out on Yemen’s Hodeidah province

Houthi-affiliated media outlet Al-Masirah says British and American warplanes conducted six attacks on Hodeidah International Airport in western Yemen. No response from the US or UK militaries was immediately available.

‘This is pure terrorism’: Filipino sailor killed in Houthi ship attack

A Filipino sailor was killed when Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked a bulk cargo carrier last week with a ballistic missile.

Speaking to reporters, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the seaman killed was on the M/V Tutor, a Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned ship that had “nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza”.

The vessel suffered serious flooding and was abandoned after it was struck by a sea drone off rebel-held Hodeidah last week.

Kirby also said a Sri Lankan crew member was critically wounded in a separate Houthi attack on the M/V Verbena, a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated ship.

“This is pure terrorism. There’s simply no other word for it. The Houthi claim of supporting Gazans is meritless.”

Blame the captain for sailing into an active war zone. It's been going on for months with only signs of escalation. What else would the Houthis be targeting ships for other than to disrupt "Business as usual" while a genocide is being live streamed with the support of the West.

But yes, targeting civilians for political goals is the textbook example for terrorism. It is indeed pure terrorism. But the US and UK are using you as human shields...

Israeli army claims to control 60% of southern Gaza’s Rafah city

The Israeli army claims to have tightened control over about 60 to 70 percent of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza as part of its ground offensive that has been ongoing for 40 days.

It now has operational control over the neighbourhoods of Shaboura, Brazil, Tal as-Sultan, and the Philadelphi Corridor, the military said. It also said it lost 22 soldiers and had more than 300 others injured as part of this battle. The Israeli army also claimed to have killed 550 Palestinian fighters.

In what imaginary world is this not a major ground operation. Biden is so full of shit.

Qassam Brigades targets Israeli forces in southern Gaza

Fierce fighting continues in the southern Rafah area with Hamas’s armed wing saying it launched a series of attacks.

“We struck the headquarters of the enemy command penetrating south of the Tal as-Sultan district in the city of Rafah with heavy-calibre mortar rounds,” it said. “We targeted two Zionist Merkava tanks with two Yassin-105 shells.”

At least 8 killed in Israeli strikes while waiting for aid trucks in Rafah

At least eight Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire as merchants and civil guards waited for commercial trucks along the main eastern road of the Gaza Strip. An unknown number of people were wounded in the attack and taken to European Gaza Hospital.

The strikes come a day after Israel’s military said it would “pause” operations on the main aid route in southern Gaza for 11 hours each day to facilitate the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian relief for thousands of starving people.

Only eight aid trucks enter southern Gaza

Humanitarian organisations no longer need to coordinate with Israeli forces to move their trucks along the main southern Gaza route, says Shimon Freedman, a spokesperson for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli military body in charge of facilitating aid into the Palestinian territory.

Freedman said the military would protect the route so aid convoys could travel safely. The comments come as reports emerge of a deadly Israel attack on aid facilitators in southern Gaza.

An Associated Press reporter stationed on the route saw about eight trucks travelling down the road on Monday. Before the Rafah operation, the number of aid trucks entering Gaza’s south was in the hundreds. Since the Rafah invasion in early May, the number of cargo vehicles entering southern Gaza has dropped about 70 percent. Israel and humanitarian groups have traded blame over who is responsible for the lack of aid getting to desperate Palestinians.

Is the IDF that incompetent or do they ambush aid workers on purpose... Seems to be the latter as they refuse to learn from their 'mistakes'


New World Central Kitchen in Khan Younis in memory of slain worker

The World Central Kitchen (WCK) announced the launch of a new food distribution facility named “Zomi” in memory of one of its aid workers killed in a series of Israeli air strikes in April.

“Now [Zomi’s] dream will become true,” said one WCK worker, announcing the new kitchen in southern Khan Younis city.

“This will be our fourth large-scale kitchen in Gaza and will be named after Zomi, one of our seven team members killed in the April 1 strike on a WCK humanitarian convoy."

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France’s ban on Israeli arms firms at exhibit a sign of the times

A court upheld France’s decision to ban Israeli companies from participating in the Eurosatory arms and defence industry exhibition, one of the world’s largest.

The decision by France’s defence ministry was made after Israel ignored international warnings not to invade Gaza’s southern Rafah city, where 1.5 million Palestinians were sheltering from attacks.

Emmanuel Dupuy, from the Institute for European Perspective & Security Studies, says the move is more symbolic than anything else. But he noted that countries such as Canada have banned military exports to Israel because of public pressure and fears of being associated with alleged war crimes in Gaza.

“In Europe, there is a mindset to put pressure on Israel since its offensive in Rafah, and most likely its future offensive when it comes to southern Lebanon,” Dupuy told Al Jazeera.

Seventy-four Israeli firms were set to attend the Eurosatory event from June 17 to 21 at fairgrounds close to Paris’s main international airport.

A display at the Eurosatory arms show in Villepinte, north of Paris, France on Monday, June 17

Just sad that these 'killer' exhibits exist at all.

UK approval of arms exports to Israel plunged at start of Gaza war

Britain’s approval of arms export licences to Israel dropped sharply after the start of the war on Gaza, with the value of permits granted for the sale of military equipment to its ally falling by more than 95 percent.

The figures, which have not previously been reported, are based on information provided by government officials to Reuters new agency and data from the Department for Business and Trade’s Export Control Joint Unit.

Unlike the United States, Britain’s government doesn’t give arms directly to Israel but rather issues licences for companies to sell weapons, with input from lawyers on whether they comply with international law.

Members of Britain’s Parliament and human rights groups have criticised the government for the lack of public information about arms sales to Israel since the start of the conflict. Some countries such as Italy, Canada and the Netherlands have imposed restrictions on arms exports to Israel because of concerns about how the weapons could be used.

The United States and Germany increased arms sales to Israel after the start of the war with Hamas.

Difficult to convert public anger into Netanyahu government’s removal

Amir Oren, a columnist with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, says anger against the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is increasing from tens of thousands of Israelis displaced in the north because of eight months of cross-border fighting with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Along with anti-war demonstrators and families of those captured and taken to Gaza, pressure continues to mount on the government. But whether it can bring the government down is unlikely in the immediate future, he said.

“Public sentiment is now against the Netanyahu government, some three-quarters of the public has had enough of Netanyahu. They want him out. But there’s no way to convert it into parliamentary power because he still has his 64-seat member coalition intact,” Oren told Al Jazeera.

“Until such time there are fissures in this coalition, the cries of the hostage families and [northern Israel] dislocated will have no effect.”

Demonstrations demanding captive deal ongoing in Israel

Protesters demonstrate against Israel’s government near the parliament or Knesset


Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid takes part in anti-government protests

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid joined mass demonstrations in front of the Israeli parliament or Knesset in Jerusalem, according to footage on social media.

‘Combat soldiers refuse to be killed because of Bibi’

Tens of thousands of people who say they’ve lost faith in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have protested in Jerusalem, calling for immediate elections and an end to the war on Gaza.

“We came to demonstrate again, the 50th time, we are here, in Tel Aviv, everywhere, to get rid of this corrupted government, that does not release the hostages, that runs the war in a clumsy way, and is responsible for the worst terror attack on us since the Holocaust ” said protester Dror Katzman.

Protesters marched from outside the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to Netanyahu’s private residence carrying Israeli flags and chanting anti-government slogans. “Because of you we are dying, get out of our lives,” one sign proclaimed with a photo of Netanyahu and bloody handprints.

Others referenced the 11 soldiers killed in Gaza over the weekend, one of the deadliest for Israeli soldiers in months, holding a sign that read, “Combat soldiers refuse to be killed because of Bibi”, using the nickname for Netanyahu.

Just like Putin

PM Netanyahu’s ‘interest is in having a slow-attrition war’

Benjamin Netanyahu’s move to disband his war cabinet provides him leeway to draw out the war on Gaza to stay in power, one analyst says.

Netanyahu’s critics accuse him of delaying because an end to the war would mean an investigation into the government’s failures on October 7 and raise the likelihood of new elections at a time when the prime minister’s popularity is low.

“It means that he will make all the decisions himself, or with people he trusts who don’t challenge him,” said Gideon Rahat, chairman of the political science department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“And his interest is in having a slow-attrition war.”

Israeli evacuees demand answers on return date

Tens of thousands of Israelis have been staying in government-funded hotel rooms for months after evacuating their homes because of fighting near Israel’s southern border with Gaza and the northern border with Israel.

They’re now adding pressure on the Netanyahu-led government about when they can go home.

US envoy meets Israeli leaders as tensions with Hezbollah escalate

A senior American diplomat met Israeli leaders and will later visit Lebanon as part of a push by Washington to defuse rising tensions between Israel and Hezbollah.

US envoy Amos Hochstein arrived in Israel and held talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and President Isaac Herzog.

Gallant’s office said the minister “provided a situation assessment of developments on Israel’s northern border, emphasizing the daily attacks conducted by Hezbollah against Israel’s northern communities, and detailing efforts to thwart Hezbollah terrorists and infrastructure”.

‘Spiraling out of control’: Envoy tries to defuse Israel-Hezbollah war

It’s not the first time Amos Hochstein visited both Israel and Lebanon throughout this war. He’s trying to defuse a situation that is essentially spiralling out of control.

The Israeli defence minister, Yoav Gallant, months ago said [that] dealing with Hezbollah through a diplomatic settlement is simply not going to happen, that too much time has gone by and the cross-border fire has escalated.

Both sides have picked up the rate of their attacks in the last few weeks. The Israelis say they’re not afraid to enter a full-blown conflict with Hezbollah. However, evacuated people who live in northern Israel have now had their date of return pushed back to the end of August.

Demonstrations from those people against the government are now happening with protesters saying there’s no plan to deal with the relentless border fire.


Southern Lebanon town almost reduced to rubble in Israeli strikes

This morning there was an Israeli military strike on southern Lebanon, a drone strike on a car. A Hezbollah fighter was killed in that strike, Hezbollah confirmed. He is the 342nd Hezbollah fighter to have died since October 8. The Israeli military claimed that he was a member of a rocket unit, but of course, as usual, Hezbollah is staying tight-lipped and has not confirmed this.

This was just one of at least eight strikes by the Israeli military on southern Lebanon including on the town of Aita al-Shaab which has been almost reduced to rubble in these strikes.

It follows a week of intense strikes an uptick in the cross-border tit-for-tat attacks following the assassination of a Hezbollah commander.

The last 48 hours has been quieter in terms of strikes, compared to the last week. There haven’t been so many strikes from Hezbollah towards northern Israel but there have been at least eight strikes on southern Lebanon today by the Israeli military.

Relatives visit the graves of killed Hezbollah fighters during Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice in the southern Lebanese town of Naqoura near the border with Israel on Monday

Another bloody night across central Gaza

It has been another bloody night across central Gaza. Seventeen people were killed in two separate attacks on homes in Nuseirat accommodating displaced families who had recently evacuated from Rafah.

The first strike killed 10 people, including women and children. Five of them were from the same family. We’re looking at double the number of injuries. More people are still trapped under the rubble.

An hour later, the second attack targeted another family’s home. The victims include not only the parents and their children, but also the grandparents. This is not the first time we’ve seen such relentless attacks on Nuseirat camp.

Two more people have also been killed on the coastal road in Gaza’s central-western area. Close to 35 people wounded from these attacks are at hospitals with critical injuries.

‘Enough of our blood. The war must stop’

Residents are reporting heavy bombardments from tanks and planes in several areas of Rafah, where more than a million people had taken refuge before Israel began its offensive on the southern city in May.

“Rafah is being bombed without any intervention from the world. The occupation [Israel] is acting freely here,” a Rafah resident and father of six told the Reuters news agency via a chat app.

Israeli tanks were operating inside the Tal as-Sultan, al-Izba and Zurub areas in western Rafah as well as Shaboura in the heart of the city.

They also continued to occupy the eastern neighbourhoods and outskirts as well as the border with Egypt and the vital Rafah border crossing.

“There are Israeli forces in most areas. There is heavy resistance too, and they are making them pay dearly, but the occupation is not ethical, and they are destroying the city and the refugee camp,” the resident said.

In central Gaza, two Israeli air strikes on two houses killed 17 Palestinians in Nuseirat and Bureij.

“Every more hour of delay, Israel kills more people. We want a ceasefire now,” said Khalil, 45, a teacher from Gaza. “Enough of our blood, I say it to Israel, America and our leaders too – the war must stop.”

Gaza gov’t says 3,500 children at risk of dying from malnourishment

As aid dries up in Gaza due to border closures, hunger is gripping an already weary population, warns Gaza’s Government Media Office. The lack of aid, including food, nutritional supplements and vaccines, has put 3,500 children at risk of dying from malnourishment, warned the office.

“We call on the international community and all countries of the free world to condemn this crime, which … violates international law,” it said.

Gaza death toll rises

At least 37,372 Palestinians have been killed and 85,452 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, Gaza’s Health Ministry announced.