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Pressure mo8k8 gamesunts on Israel as Gantz quits

单休已成职场用工新要求 | 8k8 games | Updated: 2024-07-24 15:03:10

Palestinians conduct a search and rescue operation among the rubble after Israeli warplanes targeted a house in the Nuseirat refugee camp area, Gaza, on Sunday. ASHRAF AMRA/GETTY IMAGES

JERUSALEM/GAZA — A key member of Israel's war cabinet quit Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government on Sunday, heaping domestic pressure on the Israeli leader as the conflict in Gaza rages.

Benny Gantz, a former Israeli general and defense minister, announced his resignation from the emergency body after failing to get a postwar plan for Gaza approved by Netanyahu, which he demanded in May.

Although his departure is not expected to bring down the government, it marks the first political blow to Netanyahu eight months into the Gaza assault against Palestinian Hamas militants.

"Netanyahu is preventing us from progressing to a real victory. That is why we are leaving the emergency government today with a heavy heart," Gantz said.

Netanyahu responded within minutes, saying: "Benny, this is not the time to abandon the battle — this is the time to join forces."

It came after Israeli special forces fought gunbattles with Palestinian militants over the weekend in central Gaza's crowded Nuseirat refugee camp area as they swooped in to free the four captives.

The health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said 274 people were killed and 698 wounded, in what it labeled the "Nuseirat massacre".

Among those were at least 64 children, 57 women and 37 elderly people, the ministry said.

"People were screaming — young and old, women and men," said Nuseirat resident Muhannad Thabet, 35.

"Everyone wanted to flee the place, but the bombing was intense and anyone who moved was at risk of being killed due to the heavy bombardment and gunfire."

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday condemned the "horrific massacre" in Nuseirat and insisted that "any agreement reached must include a permanent cessation of aggression, a complete withdrawal from the strip, an exchange deal and reconstruction".

On Monday, Palestinian residents said tanks had been trying to thrust deeper toward the north in the early hours of Monday, edging Shaboura, one of the most densely populated and militant stronghold neighborhoods at the heart of the city.

Israel's retaliatory military offensive has killed at least 37,124 people in Gaza, in response to Hamas' surprise attack on Israel on Oct 7, which has killed about 1,200 people.

Domestic discontent

Adding to the domestic discontent over Netanyahu's handling of the eight-month conflict, a senior military commander, Brigadier General Avi Rosenfeld, also resigned on Sunday over what he called his failure to prevent the Oct 7 attack.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir demanded to join the war cabinet in place of Gantz.

Netanyahu is also under growing pressure from his far-right coalition allies, who have threatened to quit the government if he goes ahead with a hostage release deal outlined by US President Joe Biden last month.

Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich have insisted that the government should not enter into any deal and continue the assault until the end goal of destroying Hamas has been achieved.

A senior Hamas official urged the United States on Monday to pressure Israel to end the conflict in Gaza, ahead of a planned visit on Monday by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the region to push forward cease-fire efforts.

"We call upon the US administration to put pressure on the occupation to stop the war on Gaza and the Hamas movement is ready to deal positively with any initiative that secures an end to the war," senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Blinken arrived in Egypt on Monday at the start of a regional tour to push for a much-awaited Gaza ceasefire. He also aims to ensure the conflict does not expand into Lebanon.

Two members of the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah were killed and three civilians injured on Sunday in Israeli airstrikes on Lebanese villages, Xinhua reported, citing Lebanese military sources.

In his eighth visit to the region since Oct 7, Blinken met Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo before heading to Jerusalem later on Monday to meet Netanyahu.


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