Israel 2024

Written by  //  June 16, 2024  //  Israel  //  No comments

GZERO media explains
The International Criminal Court is seeking warrants for both Israeli and Hamas leaders
The idea that Israeli leadership could somehow be equivalent to the terrorist organization that attacked them on October 7th will be utterly unthinkable to the average Israeli citizen.
So the ICC arrest warrants will have little impact on public opinion domestically…except further strengthening the far right and increasing Netanyahu’s staying power.
Also, don’t expect the warrants to impact America’s support for the war in Gaza.
President Biden called the ICC’s decision “outrageous.”
Notably missing from the court’s jurisdiction? Both the USA and Israel.
Israel ordered to immediately halt Rafah offensive by International Court of Justice
Israel is unlikely to comply with the order, which the International Court of Justice has no power to enforce, but the landmark ruling will pile pressure on the increasingly isolated U.S. ally.
This is different than the ICC seeking arrest warrants.
The International Criminal Court prosecutes individuals.
The International Court of Justice resolves disputes between states.

16 June
Netanyahu disbands his war cabinet, a widely expected move after two major resignations
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has dissolved his war cabinet, an Israeli official said Monday, after the departures of two significant members prompted demands from far-right politicians for representation in the influential group.
Israeli protesters mass in Jerusalem to call for elections after the war cabinet is dissolved and the immediate return of hostages held in Gaza
Israeli war cabinet disbanded amid IDF pauses in Gaza
Tasha Kheiriddin
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved the country’s war cabinet on Monday, one week after archrival Benny Gantz resigned, citing a lack of strategy in the war in Gaza.
(GZERO media) Meanwhile, the Israeli military implemented a“tactical pause of military activity” to increase the delivery of humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians but made it clear that this is not a cease-fire.The daily 11-hour pause began early Saturday along a route leading north from the Kerem Shalom crossing, and aid deliveries are being coordinated with the UN and international aid agencies.
Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant were reportedly unaware of the pause before its announcement, with Netanyahu subsequentlytelling his military secretary that it was “unacceptable.” That said, some analysts believe Netanyahu did approve the plan.
The pause, which came as Israel buried 11 soldiers killed in the war, has exacerbated the rift within the Israeli government. “The person who decided on a ‘tactical pause’ … while the best of our soldiers are being killed in battle is a fool and an imbecile who must not remain in office,” said Internal Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich claimed the pause risked putting “the achievements of the war down the drain.” Both ministers previously threatened to bring down Bibi’s coalition government if he ended the war, and had lobbied to replace Gantz on the war cabinet.
Tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv in favor of a cease-fire on Saturday night, the start of “a week of action” against Netanyahu’s government. We’ll be watching to see how Bibi navigates the tensions with the military, and what dissolving the war cabinet — which was meant to help unify the country’s response to the Oct. 7 attacks — will have.

12 June
Ian Bremmer: What’s next after the collapse of Israel’s unity war cabinet?
Last Sunday, Israeli war cabinet member and ex-Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced he was stepping down from Israel’s emergency government, returning to the role he played before Hamas launched its brutal attack on Oct. 7: chief political rival to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Gantz was joined by war cabinet observer Gadi Eisenkot. Their resignations followed Netanyahu’s failure to outline a strategy to end the war in Gaza and think through the territory’s post-war governance after Gantz had given him an ultimatum and three weeks to comply.
Moderates generally aligned with the Biden administration but by no means doves (both are retired generals who served as IDF chief of staff), Gantz and Eisenkot had pushed for a deal that allowed for the return of the 120 Israeli hostages that remain in Gaza (about a third of whom are presumed dead) – as well as a “day after” plan to replace Hamas as the enclave’s governing authority. Frustrated by the prime minister’s refusal to work toward these goals, they quit.
So what happens next?
Gantz’s departure won’t topple Bibi. Polling shows that most Israelis want early elections and that Gantz and his centrist National Unity party would handily defeat Netanyahu and his Likud party if they were held today. However, on its own, Gantz’s exit from the wartime government isn’t enough to bring about that outcome. Based on the results of the last election in November 2022, Netanyahu’s original hard-right coalition still commands a narrow, 64-seat majority (out of 120 seats) in the Knesset. While he may be disliked by most of the Israeli public, so long as he retains a majority in parliament, Bibi won’t be forced to face the music until elections are due in October 2026.
To trigger an early ballot and have a shot at ousting Netanyahu before then, Gantz and other leading opposition figures (including Yair Lapid, Avigdor Lieberman, and Gideon Sa’ar) would need to put up a united front and convince at least five Knesset members to defect from the ruling coalition and join them in a vote to dissolve the parliament. Gantz’s move could inspire some of Likud’s more centrist lawmakers to rebel, bring intra-coalition tensions to the fore, and increase public pressure to call for new elections, making this scenario possible. But I wouldn’t bet on it.
Israel’s extremists will be empowered. With the moderates gone and the unity government formed in the aftermath of Oct. 7 effectively over, Netanyahu is now entirely dependent on his ultranationalist, religious, and far-right coalition partners for his continued political survival. That means their influence on the war effort – which Gantz and Eisenkot had joined the war cabinet to moderate in the first place – is about to grow considerably.
Led by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, these radical factions are opposed to cutting any deals with Hamas, believing that only “total defeat” by military means will do – no matter the humanitarian toll and even if it means sacrificing the remaining hostages.

9 June
Moderates quit Netanyahu’s emergency government, call for elections
The resignations do not immediately threaten Netanyahu’s coalition, but they could lead to more defections and embolden the prime minister’s many critics.
Gantz to leave emergency government in rebuke of Netanyahu
Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz announced his departure from the emergency government Sunday, destabilizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hold on power. The move by Gantz, a former general, may not bring down the government, but it fractures the emergency coalition formed after Oct. 7 and increases the political pressure on Netanyahu to accept a Gaza cease-fire proposal that would bring home the hostages still held by Hamas.

4 June
Netanyahu strains to keep government together amid spreading rebellions
A string of standoffs, schisms and ultimatums have brought Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s emergency war cabinet to the brink of collapse.
(WaPo) Eight months into Israel’s war in Gaza, a string of standoffs, schisms and ultimatums have brought Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s emergency war cabinet to the brink of collapse and raised the prospect that his own coalition could follow, possibly leading to new elections.
Externally, the embattled prime minister is under growing pressure from the public to bring home Israel’s remaining hostages and from the Biden administration to reach a cease-fire agreement with Hamas. Within his unity government, formed less than a week after the deadly militant attacks on Oct. 7, he is contending with rebellions by allies and opponents alike.
Conservative hard-liners openly pledged over the weekend to pull out of the government if Netanyahu agrees to the deal that President Biden promoted Friday as “an Israeli proposal.”
Religious parties have threatened to withdraw support from the coalition over court rulings, expected within days, that could eliminate the exemption from military service long granted to ultra-Orthodox youth.

1 June
In the West Bank, Guns and a Locked Gate Signal a Town’s New Residents
Since the war in Gaza began, armed Israeli settlers, often accompanied by the army, have stepped up seizures of land long used by Palestinians.
(NYT) As much of the world has focused on the war in Gaza, Jewish settlers miles away in the West Bank have hastened the rate at which they are seizing land previously used by Palestinians, rights groups say.
Dror Etkes, a field researcher with Kerem Navot, an Israeli monitoring group, estimated that since the Hamas-led attack on Israel on Oct. 7 that started the war in Gaza, settlers have taken more than 37,000 acres of land from Palestinians across the West Bank. More than 550 of those acres are near Tuqu, making it the largest such expansion by a single Israeli settlement.

27 May
Bloomberg Balance of Power summed up the situation
Israel Pushes Into Rafah Defying Court Order
Israel has no intention of stopping its operations around Rafah.
(Bloomberg) The country’s leaders say they won’t be deterred by an International Court of Justice ruling last Friday that most interpreted as ordering a halt to military activities in the Gazan city.
They argue the Hague-based institution instead specified that actions causing the “physical destruction” of civilians must be stopped — and that Israel’s strategy and practices are already in line with that.
Yet the killing of at least 40 Palestinians — according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry — in an Israeli airstrike at a camp yesterday has inflamed tensions further and undermined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence that the military is acting according to international law.

Israeli attack on Rafah tent camp kills 45, prompts international outcry
(Reuters) – An Israeli airstrike triggered a fire that killed 45 people in a tent camp in the Gazan city of Rafah, officials said on Monday, prompting an outcry from global leaders who urged the implementation of a World Court order to halt Israel’s assault.
Palestinian families rushed to hospitals to prepare their dead for burial after a strike late on Sunday night set tents and rickety metal shelters ablaze.
Israel’s military, which is trying to eliminate Hamas in Gaza, said it was investigating reports that a strike it carried out against commanders of the Islamist militant group in Rafah had caused the fire.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the strike had not been intended to cause civilian casualties.
Israel has kept up its offensive despite a ruling by the top U.N. court on Friday ordering it to stop, saying the court’s ruling grants it some scope for military action there. The court also reiterated calls for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages held in Gaza by Hamas.

25 May
U.S. silent as global condemnation of Israel’s Rafah offensive grows
The Biden administration maintains that Israel’s invasion of the southern Gazan city is “limited,” despite an International Court of Justice order and a worsening humanitarian crisis.
(WaPo) The United States, which prides itself as a global leader on human rights and international law, was conspicuously silent Friday after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to comply with its “obligations” under the Genocide Convention and “immediately halt its offensive” in Rafah.
Police and protesters clash in Tel Aviv as rallies across Israel demand Gaza ceasefire
(CNN) Police and protesters clashed in Tel Aviv on Saturday night after a day of rallies calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and for the return of all hostages, according to several videos posted on social media.
In the videos, horse-mounted police and water cannons can be seen in Tel Aviv’s Democracy Square attempting to disperse crowds refusing to leave, resulting in violent clashes.

24 May
World Court orders Israel to halt assault on Gaza’s Rafah
South Africa hails ‘groundbreaking’ decision
Palestinian Authority says order shows international consensus to end the war
Hamas calls on UN Security Council to enforce ruling
Israeli opposition leader calls ruling a ‘moral disaster’
(Reuters) – Judges at the top United Nations court ordered Israel on Friday to immediately halt its military assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, in a landmark emergency ruling in South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide.
While the International Court of Justice, or World Court, has no means to enforce its orders, the case was a stark sign of Israel’s global isolation over its campaign in Gaza, particularly since it began its offensive against Rafah this month against the pleas of its closest ally the United States.
Reading out the ruling, World Court president Nawaf Salam said the situation in the Palestinian enclave had deteriorated since the court last ordered Israel to take steps to improve it, and conditions had been met for a new emergency order.

23 May
Israel’s isolation deepens on the world stage
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finds himself increasingly isolated on the world stage amid various legal challenges and fraying global opinion.
Analysis by Ishaan Tharoor
(WaPo) Netanyahu is waging a devastating war in the Gaza Strip that has riled global public opinion and placed him and his government before two of the world’s most significant courts. The International Court of Justice is expected to deliver a ruling Friday on a request to order Israel to cease military operations in Gaza, including its offensive on the southernmost city of Rafah. Israeli officials snarled defiance ahead of the ruling, vowing to keep on their fight, but the legal pressure is mounting as the ICJ weighs a case brought by South Africa that accuses Israel of the crime of genocide.
Earlier this week, Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, announced that he had applied for arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant…due to their roles in the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
The weight of the evidence incriminating Netanyahu and Gallant, as briefly outlined in Khan’s statement, surrounds Israel’s alleged use of starvation as a weapon of war, its documented obstruction of humanitarian aid into Gaza, and Israel’s conduct during the war, which has inflicted widespread and indiscriminate harm on civilians. “Notwithstanding any military goals they may have, the means Israel chose to achieve them in Gaza — namely, intentionally causing death, starvation, great suffering, and serious injury to body or health of the civilian population — are criminal,” Khan said.

How does this end? With Hamas holding firm and fighting back in Gaza, Israel faces only bad options
(AP) Israel initially made tactical advances against Hamas after a devastating aerial bombardment paved the way for its ground troops. But those early gains have given way to a grinding struggle against an adaptable insurgency — and a growing feeling among many Israelis that their military faces only bad options, drawing comparisons with U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This was the subtext of a rebellion in recent days by two members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s three-man War Cabinet — Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Benny Gantz, Netanyahu’s main political rival — who demanded that he come up with detailed postwar plans.

22-23 May
ICC gives Biden a big headache
The International Criminal Court has announced it’s seeking arrest warrants for both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Prosecutor Karim AA Khan alleges that Hamas is responsible for crimes against Israeli civilians in its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, and that Israel is responsible for intentionally directing attacks against civilians in the military campaign it launched in response.
The decision to go after both parties to the conflict puts Israel’s friends — particularly the United States — in a difficult political position since the Biden administration is already struggling to hold the support of young American voters upset with Biden’s position on the Gaza war.
Ian Bremmer: The ICC and its unintended consequences for Israel and beyond
The greatest tragedy of all of these past seven months is that war has allowed Hamas and the most extreme Israeli views to ignore calls for peace from the rest of the world. We are now farther from peace than when the ICC made its announcement and much farther than we were before Hamas broke into Israel on Oct. 7.
… In sum, the ICC announcement is likely to produce the opposite of its intended effect. It will empower those within Israel whose positions sound nearly as extreme as those of Hamas. Many members of the right-wing parties that keep Netanyahu in power, including both the finance and national security ministers and their backers, regularly argue for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. They have called for the full, permanent Israeli occupation of both Gaza and the West Bank. They want Israel to control all the land “from the river to the sea.” It’s not hard to hear the parallels in that rhetoric with the words of Hamas leaders and their broader axis of resistance.
Neither Israel nor Hamas can seize control of all the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea without much more war and the killing of many, many more people. Without genocide. In a horribly twisted way, Hamas and the Israeli extreme right need one another to continue a fight that benefits them both.

22 May
Spain, Norway and Ireland Recognize a Palestinian State, a Blow to Israel
Recognitions of Palestinian statehood are a rebuke to Israel, if a largely symbolic one reflecting dwindling international patience with its military offensive in Gaza and its decades of occupation of Palestinian territories.

18 May
Key member of Israel’s war cabinet threatens resignation over war strategy in Gaza
Gantz’s departure would leave Netanyahu more beholden to far-right allies
(AP/CBC) Benny Gantz is threatening to resign from Israel’s war cabinet. His announcement escalates a divide within Israel’s leadership more than seven months into the war in Gaza.
Gantz spelled out a six-point plan that includes the return of scores of hostages, ending Hamas’s rule, demilitarizing the Gaza strip and establishing an international administration of civilian affairs. It also supports efforts to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.
He said if it is not adopted by June 8, he will quit the government: “If you choose the path of fanatics and lead the entire nation to the abyss, we will be forced to quit the government,” Gantz said.

16 May
​Takeaways From the Times Investigation Into ‘The Unpunished’
Radical forces in Israeli society have moved from the fringes to the mainstream and put Israel’s democracy in peril. Here are the takeaways from our investigation.
(NYT Magazine) For decades, most Israelis have considered Palestinian terrorism the country’s biggest security concern. But there is another threat that may be even more destabilizing for Israel’s future as a democracy: Jewish terrorism and violence, and the failure to enforce the law against it.
Our yearslong investigation reveals how violent factions within the Israeli settler movement, protected and sometimes abetted by the government, have come to pose a grave threat to Palestinians in the occupied territories and to the State of Israel itself. Piecing together new documents, videos and over 100 interviews, we found a government shaken by an internal war — burying reports it commissioned, neutering investigations it assigned and silencing whistle-blowers, some of them senior officials.

The Unpunished: How Extremists Took Over Israel
After 50 years of failure to stop violence and terrorism against Palestinians by Jewish ultranationalists, lawlessness has become the law.
By Ronen Bergman and Mark Mazzetti
(NYT) This story is told in three parts. The first documents the unequal system of justice that grew around Jewish settlements in Gaza and the West Bank. The second shows how extremists targeted not only Palestinians but also Israeli officials trying to make peace. The third explores how this movement gained control of the state itself. Taken together, they tell the story of how a radical ideology moved from the fringes to the heart of Israeli political power.
… The long arc of harassment, assault and murder of Palestinians by Jewish settlers is twinned with a shadow history, one of silence, avoidance and abetment by Israeli officials. For many of those officials, it is Palestinian terrorism that most threatens Israel. But in interviews with more than 100 people…we found a different and perhaps even more destabilizing threat. A long history of crime without punishment, many of those officials now say, threatens not only Palestinians living in the occupied territories but also the State of Israel itself.
… It is an account of a sometimes criminal nationalistic movement that has been allowed to operate with impunity and gradually move from the fringes to the mainstream of Israeli society. It is an account of how voices within the government that objected to the condoning of settler violence were silenced and discredited. And it is a blunt account, told for the first time by Israeli officials themselves, of how the occupation came to threaten the integrity of their country’s democracy.

12 May
Israel increasingly isolated on world stage amid Gaza offensive
Tasha Kheiriddin
(GZERO media) Israel marked a somber Memorial Day on Sunday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring that the nation is prepared to “stand alone” if necessary. The Jewish state has become increasingly isolated as it faces pushback from adversaries and allies alike.
… Washington expressed serious concerns last week about Israel’s use of US-supplied weapons in Gaza. US President Joe Biden threatened to withhold weapons sales. And on the legal front, Egypt joined South Africa’s lawsuit at the International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of genocide and human rights violations.

5 May
Israel orders Al Jazeera to close its local operation and seizes some of its equipment
(AP) — Israel ordered the local offices of Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite news network to close Sunday, escalating a long-running feud between the broadcaster and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line government as Doha-mediated cease-fire negotiations with Hamas hang in the balance.

1 May
Blinken presses Hamas to seal cease-fire with Israel, says ‘the time is now’ for a deal
(AP)  Blinken met with Israeli leaders throughout the day on the last stop of his seventh visit to the region since the war erupted in October, trying to push through what has been an elusive deal between Israel and Hamas. The U.S. and fellow mediators Egypt and Qatar hope to avert an Israeli offensive into the southern Gaza town of Rafah, where some 1.4 million Palestinians are sheltering.

30 April
Why the International Criminal Court has Israeli officials worried
(AP) — Israeli officials sound increasingly concerned that the International Criminal Court could issue arrest warrants for the country’s leaders more than six months into the Israel-Hamas war.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has written in general terms about ICC action against Israeli troops and officials, and Israel’s foreign ministry has said it is also tracking reports of pending action.
Netanyahu said Friday on the social platform X that Israel “will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defense.”
“While the ICC will not affect Israel’s actions, it would set a dangerous precedent,” he wrote.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said late Sunday that it had informed missions abroad of “ rumors ” that the court could order the arrest of senior Israeli political and military officials. The ministry did not give a source for the rumors.

24 April
Amid a somber Passover in the Holy Land, a chilling reality remains: Israel could soon trigger an exodus into Egypt.
For weeks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signaled his intent to launch a full-scale offensive into Rafah, the southern Gazan city that’s now home to more than a million Palestinians seeking safe haven in their war-ravaged territory. Netanyahu and his allies want to wipe out militant group Hamas’s footprint in the city — no matter the skepticism of experts who reckon the Islamist organization is far from defeated or the concerns of foreign diplomats and aid workers who fear the calamities for civilians that would follow the Israeli onslaught

20 April
Thousands of Israelis join anti-government protests
(Reuters) – Thousands of Israeli demonstrators took to the streets on Saturday to call for new elections and demand more action from the government to bring the hostages held in Gaza home, in the latest round of protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Leave a Comment

comm comm comm