Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir Oppose Army Pauses in Parts of Gaza

This highlights faction fights between Netanyahu’s far-right coalition and the army

Following an announcement by the Israeli military on Sunday that there will now be 11-hour daily tactical pauses along one of the bombed-out Gaza Strip’s main roads, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the plan is “unacceptable,” according to an Israeli official speaking with Reuters. National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who leads the extremist Jewish Power party, said whoever came up with the idea is a “fool” and should be fired.

“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,” Reuters reported. Subsequent to the announcement, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have reiterated that the brutal military operations in Rafah will continue apace.

In order to facilitate some aid deliveries, the report explains that within “the area from the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing to the Salah al-Din Road and then northwards,” there will ostensibly be a pause in fighting from the hours of 8 AM to 7 PM local time each day.

This highlights one of the ongoing disputes between factions of Netanyahu’s far-right coalition and the military. Former Defense Minister and general Benny Gantz, chair of Israel’s National Unity party, quit the emergency government and called for elections this month over his view that Netanyahu is preventing Tel Aviv from achieving a “true victory” in the Gaza war.

Despite the full-blown famine and starvation crisis wreaking havoc in the besieged enclave as a result of the Israeli onslaught and blockade, the Israeli leader’s ultra-orthodox and Jewish supremacist allies fear that too much food, medical equipment, and other aid is getting through to the desperate Palestinian population.

Amid the mass slaughter in Gaza and severe restrictions on aid entering the Strip, far-right Israelis have been blocking aid shipments to the enclave as well as destroying foodstuffs including by deflating aid truck tires and setting the goods they’re carrying ablaze.

Additionally, Lieutenant-General Herzi Halevi, the head of the Israeli military, insisted Sunday that there is a “definite need” to recruit more troops from Israel’s ultra-orthodox student community, who are politically powerful, have been subsidized by the citizenry, and are exempt from the military draft.

A contentious bill moved ahead in the Knesset last week which could see a gradual change in the policy, potentially beginning a process whereby some ultra-orthodox Israeli students would face conscription as hundreds of Israeli troops have been killed and thousands wounded in the Gaza Strip ground campaign.

This has led to protests in the streets of Jerusalem by ultra-orthodox Israelis and threatens to ultimately collapse Netanyahu’s coalition. The prime minister’s extreme right wing partners are emphatically opposed to this overall but some voted for the measure hoping to change it during further reviews, readings, and committee hearings. Gantz and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant voted against the bill, with Gallant saying it is insufficient to meet the Israeli military’s personnel needs.

Some media outlets described a day of relative calm after the tactical pause plan was unveiled. However, throughout various parts of Gaza the IDF reportedly murdered more Palestinians including children.

Despite Sunday marking the first day of Eid al-Adha, the most important Muslim celebration of the year, Al Jazeera reports that the IDF “razed homes in [in Rafah] and attacks there continued… An Israeli attack on two homes in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza killed nine people, including six children, according to the Palestinian state news agency Wafa.”

Concurrently, in a separate attack, at least two Palestinians were killed in Rafah’s western Tal as-Sultan neighborhood, where last month a massacre took place after the IDF dropped US-supplied bombs on a tent camp wounding hundreds and burning 45 people alive including mostly women, children, and elderly Palestinians. According to the outlet’s Arabic correspondents on the ground, the IDF then “followed up [this latest assault on Sunday] by targeting an ambulance trying to reach the victims.”

Since the war began, roughly 37,300 Palestinians have been slaughtered in Gaza by the IDF, along with more than 85,000 wounded and still thousands more missing, buried under rubble, or presumed dead.

Connor Freeman is the assistant editor and a writer at the Libertarian Institute, primarily covering foreign policy. He is a co-host on the Conflicts of Interest podcast. His writing has been featured in media outlets such as, Counterpunch, and the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. He has also appeared on Liberty Weekly, Around the Empire, and Parallax Views. You can follow him on Twitter @FreemansMind96.