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Gazans mark Eid in shadow of conflict as Netanyahu disbands w8k8 downloadar cabinet

巴西总统宣布永久撤回驻以色列大使 | 8k8 download | Updated: 2024-07-21 15:53:25

Palestinians prepare sheep for the Eid al-Adha in Khan Younis, Gaza, on Sunday. BASHAR TALEB/AFP

GAZA/JERUSALEM — In tents in the stifling heat and in bombed-out mosques, Gazans marked the start of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha on Sunday, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved the six-member war cabinet.

Israeli media reported on Monday that Netanyahu told the security cabinet on Sunday night that the war cabinet, which was created on Oct 11, has been officially disbanded.

Netanyahu is now expected to hold consultations about the Gaza conflict with a small group of ministers, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer who had been in the war cabinet, Reuters reported.

The prime minister had faced demands from partners in his coalition, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, to be included in the war cabinet, a move which would have intensified strains with international partners, including the United States.

Former general Benny Gantz left the government last week, over what they said was Netanyahu's failure to form a strategy for the Gaza operation.

After more than eight months of a devastating Israeli offensive that has flattened much of Gaza, displaced most of the besieged territory's 2.4 million people and sparked repeated warnings of famine, Eid this year is a day of misery for many.

"There is no joy. We have been robbed of it," said Malakiya Salman, who is now living in a tent in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

"I hope the world will put pressure to end the war on us, because we are truly dying, and our children are broken."

Palestinians used to celebrate the holiday by decorating streets and alleys, slaughtering sacrificial animals, exchanging visits to offer greetings, and children and young people by visiting parks and playgrounds in the Strip with their families to have fun.

Holiday rituals absent

All the holiday rituals, however, were absent from the family of Ahmed Mansour, who was displaced from his home in Gaza City after October. "I was not able to buy new clothes for my children and we could not prepare the cakes. In short, this holiday came without joy," the 35-year-old father of three told Xinhua News Agency.

The Israeli military announced on Sunday morning a "tactical pause of military activity" around a Rafah-area route to facilitate the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid to Gazans.

The pause "for humanitarian purposes will take place from 8:00 am until 7:00 pm every day until further notice along the road that leads from the Kerem Shalom crossing to the Salah al-Din road and then northward", a military statement said.

The United Nations welcomed the Israeli move, although "this has yet to translate into more aid reaching people in need", said Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN humanitarian agency OCHA.

But Netanyahu criticized the plans announced by the military.

"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," an Israeli official said.

More than 37,347 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli military offensive on Gaza since Hamas' surprise attack on Israel, in which about 1,200 people were killed.

Egyptian, Qatari and US mediators have been pushing for a new Gaza truce, so far without success.

The only previous truce lasted one week in November and saw many hostages released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, while increased aid flowed into Gaza.

Hamas has insisted on the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and a permanent cease-fire — demands Israel has repeatedly rejected.

Agencies - Xinhua

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