Israel-Hamas War Day 236 | ‘Urgent Elections Needed’: Gaza War Cabinet Ministers Slam Netanyahu; PM: They Want to End War – Israel News – Haaretz

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U.S. Secratary of State Antony Blinken said that the Israeli strike near Rafah which killed dozens of Palestinians on Sunday was “horrific.”

While on a visit in Moldova, Blinken said: “I don’t think anyone who has seen the images cannot be deeply affected by them – just on a basic human level.”

“We have been very clear with Israel on the imperative in this instance, as others, to investigate and determine exactly what happened and how it happened,” he said, “and if accountability is necessary, to make sure there is accountability. I can’t tell you what weapons were used or how they were used – all of that needs to be the product of a deliberate but also fast investigation. We’ll await the results”

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint press conference with Moldova’s President Maia Sandu at the Moldovan Presidency in Chisinau, Moldova, on Wednesday.Credit: Vadim Ghirda / AP

Blinken said Israeli myst ask itself “how further incremental … gains against Hamas stacks up against some of the unintended but horrific consequences of military action.”

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“This underscores the imperative of having a plan for the day after. In the absence of a plan for the day after, there won’t be a day after. That’s where we need to go, and we need to get there as quickly as possible”

Blinken elaborated, saying that the long term plan needs to be one that “doesn’t leave Israel responsible for Gaza – which it says it does not want to be – but if it is, it will simply have an enduring insurgency on its hands as far as one can see in the future. If not, Hamas will be left in charge, or we’ll have chaos or lawlessness or a vacuum that will eventually be filled by Hamas or something even worse – jihadis.”

“The imperative and urgency of a clear plan that can help ensure the enduring defeat of Hamas is urgent,” Blinken said. “A plan that accounts for security and governance in Gaza and rebuilding the lives of the Gazan people”

Israel must do more to protect innocent Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and more must be done to ensure humanitarian aid gets into the enclave and can be safely distributed, said deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood on Wednesday.

“The continued pattern of significant civilian harm resulting from incidents like Sunday’s air strikes undermines Israel’s strategic goals in Gaza,” Wood told the UN Security Council.

Cabinet Member Gadi Eisenkot said on Wednesday that the Netanyahu government “failed miserably to achieve all its goals,” listing stopping Iran’s nuclear project, Saudi normalization, cost of living and rebuilding Israel’s security.

While speaking at the Meir Dagan security and strategy convention, the cabinet member accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “pushing false delusions that we’ll destroy three (Hamas) Battalions in Rafah and then return the hostages.”

Eisenkot said that the most important thing to him is “the trust and solidarity among Israeli society.”

War cabinet minister Gadi Eisenkot and Benny Gantz (left), in the Knesset.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

“I see the polling regarding trust in the IDF, and it’s very troubling to see the complete lack of faith between citizens and the Israel’s Knesset and Israel’s government,” he added

Eisenkot said that if an election date is not set during the last quarter of the year, “everything must be done” to hold elections “as early as possible.”

He also commented on the issue of exemptions for ultra-Orthodox men from mandatory military service: “The IDF’s top command is the government and ultra-Orthodox parties are in it,” saying that they “send kids to battle but don’t send their own to the recruiting office.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, last month.Credit: Mark Israel Salam

“There is a need to reach an agreement, and those who don’t partake should pay the price,” he added.

The Likud party responded, saying that cabinet members Gadi Eisenkot and Benny Gantz are “looking for excuses to finish the war without achieving its goals, and to resign from the government in the middle of the war.”

“Instead of working on aspiring for victory, they are working on politics,” the Likud statement said.

The New York Times reports that footage from the strike location near Rafah that killed dozens of Palestinians shows that the bombs used are U.S. made.

The GBU-39 bombs used in the strike are thought to be more precise. The U.S. has encouraged Israel to use these bombs to reduce civilian casualties.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham on Wednesday slammed the top United Nations court, calling it “a joke” and its chief justice “a raving antisemite.”
Graham made the comments in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, on the senator’s fifth visit to Israel since the Israel-Hamas war began in October.

“We will do all we can … to hold the ICC (to) account for this outrage against the people of Israel,” said Graham. Senate Republicans have threatened sanctions against ICC personnel over the decision to request arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. The Biden administration has also criticized the decision and said it would work with lawmakers to come up with an appropriate response, should one be needed.

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva withdrew his country’s ambassador to Israel on Wednesday after months of tensions between the two countries over the war in Gaza.

The move was announced in Brazil’s official gazette.

Lula has been a frequent critic of Israel’s offensive in Gaza, which he compared to the Holocaust earlier this year. That led Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz to summon the Brazilian ambassador to the national Holocaust museum in Jerusalem for a public reprimand.

The removal of Brazil’s ambassador is in response to that humiliating action and the fact that there has been no positive development since then, according to a person at Brazil’s foreign ministry with knowledge of the situation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

Yemen’s Houthis targeted six ships in three different seas, including the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Laax that was damaged after reporting a Houthi missile attack off the coast of Yemen, the Iran-backed group said on Wednesday.

The Houthis launched attacks against the Morea and Sealady vessels in the Red Sea, the Alba and Maersk Hartford in the Arabian Sea and the Minvera Antonia in the Mediterranean, military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a televised speech.

The statement was released after hostile aircraft alerts were activated across multiple communities in Israel’s north.

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