Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Map of the humanitarian aid route around which a "tactical pause" from 8 am to 7 pm daily will further enable delivery of food, medicine, water and fuel to Gaza civilians.

Sunday morning brought with it this weekend a veritable plethora of chaotic chatter about the accuracy of reports that Israel had agreed to an extended daily humanitarian “tactical pause” in Gaza to further facilitate humanitarian aid deliveries in the enclave.


“As part of ongoing efforts by the IDF and COGAT, to increase the volumes of humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip and following additional related discussions with the UN and international organizations, starting yesterday (Saturday), a local, tactical pause of military activity 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 northwards,” COGAT announced Sunday morning.

“This is an additional step in the humanitarian aid efforts that have been conducted by the IDF and COGAT since the beginning of the war. The IDF will continue to support humanitarian efforts on the ground,” COGAT added.

And then all hell broke loose.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant claimed he knew nothing about the plan, and learned about it through the media, Walla! News reported. Gallant said he did not approve the ceasefire for humanitarian purposes in southern Gaza, which apparently was conceived by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the IDF liaison with Gaza and the Palestinian Authority.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he, too, had not been notified prior to the announcement. When Netanyahu first heard reports in the morning about an 11-hour daily humanitarian pause, he contacted his military secretary and clarified that this was unacceptable to him, according to Galei Tzahal Army Radio reported Yarin Cozin.

“After further inquiry, the Prime Minister was informed that there is no change in IDF policy and that the fighting in Rafah is continuing as planned,” Cozin reported on the Telegram social media platform.

Ultimately, the IDF was forced to issue a clarification, emphasizing that the effort to dismantle the remaining Hamas terror battalions in Rafah would continue.

“The IDF clarifies that there is no cessation of hostilities in the southern Gaza Strip, and the combat in Rafah continues,” the IDF wrote in a statement on the X social media platform.

“Also, there is no change in the introduction of goods into the Strip. The axis for transport of supplies will be open during the day in coordination with international organizations, for the transportation of humanitarian aid only,” the IDF emphasized.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.