Photo Credit: Itai Ron/Flash90
Demonstrators clash with police during a protest outside Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv, April 29, 2024.

With growing international pressure against Israeli action in the southern Gaza Strip, and alongside attempts by Egyptian mediators to obtain a new deal for the release of hostages, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is halting the operation in Rafah for the time being, Kan11 News reported Tuesday morning.

Netanyahu’s office strongly denied an earlier report about the postponements of the operation in Rafah, and Netanyahu’s advisor, Jonatan Urich, claimed it was false.


News12 reported on Monday about a reserve company of the paratrooper brigade, dozens of whose fighters informed their commander that they did not intend to report for duty following a Service Order 8 that was sent to them in preparation for an operation in Rafah. The soldiers claimed their response was not political, but reflected instead their fatigue and burnout, having served three, four, and sometimes five months in a row since the beginning of the war.


The parents of 400 IDF infantry soldiers on Monday appealed to Ministers Gadi Eisenkot and Benny Gantz demanding that they stop the plans to enter Rafah. Relying on the views of former IDF generals making the rounds on Channels 11, 12, and 13, the parents wrote the center-left ministers: “Entering Rafah could be nothing less than a death trap. Under the current circumstances, we will not stand by and allow children to risk their lives.”

According to the parents, “every reasonable person understands that when they have been announcing and warning for months about entering Rafah, there are those who are working to prepare the ground and harm the forces there.”

“You don’t treat the soldiers with the necessary responsibility,” the parents wrote the two ministers, concluding, “We no longer trust you.”

A police officer was injured Monday night from a detonator that was thrown at him during an illegal demonstration by rioters on King George Street in Tel Aviv. The demonstrators lit a fire in the middle of the street. Police arrested five rioters and the wounded policeman was taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

The police spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, this evening we again see a handful of demonstrators who started an illegal rally while violating public order and directing violence at police officers who acted to maintain public order.”

The police said that Knesset member Naama Lazimi (Labor) was arrested among the protesters: “Meanwhile, rioters who disobeyed police instructions, including a member of the Knesset, tried to enter the Ze’ev Fortress complex (the Likud headquarters) and disfigured the place with graffiti. The rioters were stopped by the police.”

The police arrested five demonstrators for disturbing the peace using appropriate measures. The police stated, “We will act with zero tolerance toward those who disrupt the order and will not obey the policemen’s instructions.”


For President Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a Hamas positive response to Israel’s most recent proposals for a hostage release deal will decide the direction of the next month in southern Gaza.

Blinken, who is scheduled to visit Israel again on Tuesday, told World Economic Forum President Borge Brende on Monday, “Hamas has before it a proposal that is extraordinarily – extraordinarily – generous on the part of Israel. And in this moment, the only thing standing between the people of Gaza and a ceasefire is Hamas. They have to decide, and they have to decide quickly. I’m hopeful that they will make the right decision and we can have a fundamental change in the dynamic.”

Brende inquired, “But let’s say that Hamas turns it down. You will still recommend Prime Minister Netanyahu tomorrow not to go ahead with that attack on Rafah?”

Blinken answered, “We’ve said clearly and for some time now on Rafah that in the absence of a plan to ensure that civilians will not be harmed, we can’t support a major military operation in Rafah. And we have not yet seen a plan that gives us confidence that civilians can be effectively protected.”

And then the Secretary of State repeated his faith in imaginary, peace-loving PA Arabs who are just waiting to reach mutual recognition with the Jewish State. It is stunning how much messianic fervor this man has underneath his suit and tie façade.

“I think it’s clear that in the absence of a real political horizon for the Palestinians, it’s going to be much harder, if not impossible, to really have a coherent plan for Gaza itself. So, we’re working on that as well.  And all I can tell you in this moment is a lot’s gone into this. I think many of these things are achievable, but we still have a lot of work to do. That’s what we’re here to do, and that’s what I’m here to do in part on this trip.
“There’s a path forward where the region is genuinely integrated, where Israel has normal relations with its neighbors – something that it’s sought since its creation – where Palestinians have their legitimate aspirations met for a state of their own, and where we end once and for all the cycle of violence, the cycle of destruction, a cycle of profound insecurity, and where the pre-eminent challenge, pre-eminent threat to virtually every country in the region – Iran – is in a box, is isolated, because the region has come together in this way.”

Of course, it would have helped to keep Iran in a box if one of the first things the Biden administration did after taking office had not been to release billions in frozen Iranian funds, enabling the Islamic Republic to surround Israel with proxy militias who are ready to join Hamas and Hezbollah in annihilating the Jews from the River to the Sea.


Politico reported on Monday about a coalition of American and foreign attorneys, at least 20 of whom work in the Biden administration, most notably the Department of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor, and Energy, and the State Department, are calling on President Biden to suspend military aid to Israel because it does not comply with US and international humanitarian law.

They plan to send a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and all the administration’s general counsels arguing that Israel violated US statutes, including the Arms Export Control Act and Leahy Laws, as well as the Geneva Conventions.

This anti-Israel move comes one week ahead of a May 8 deadline, when the administration must certify to Congress that Israeli military actions involving American weapons adhere to US and international law.

The letter states: “The law is clear and aligned with the majority of Americans who believe the US should cease arms shipments to Israel until it stops its military operation in Gaza.”

The letter also calls on the Justice Department to investigate whether American citizens serving in the IDF have committed war crimes for which they should be prosecuted under US law.

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