Israeli Army Issues ‘Clarification’ After Netanyahu’s Rejection of ‘Tactical Pause’ in Rafah

Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed the military’s announcement that its operations would “be suspended tactically” in the southern Gaza town of Rafah during a certain period each day.

“The political leadership in Israel was not informed in advance of the statement issued by the army spokesman (Avichay Adraee), and this (statement) was not coordinated with me, and this will never happen,” Netanyahu reportedly said in a speech on Sunday, according to the Israeli Channel 12, as cited by the Anadolu news agency.

He added: “There is an investigation into how such a statement was released without coordination with the political level.”

Consultation with UN

On Sunday morning, Adraee stated on X that “after discussions with the United Nations and international organizations, it was decided that, as of yesterday and on a daily basis between the hours of eight in the morning (08:00) and seven in the evening (p. 19:00) Military activities will be suspended tactically and locally for humanitarian purposes on the road from Kerem Shalom to Salah al-Din Street and its north.”

‘Unacceptable’

The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday that following the announcement, Netanyahu sent a statement through a “senior Israeli official,” stating that “when the prime minister heard the reports of a humanitarian pause for 11 hours this morning, he clarified to his military secretary that it is unacceptable.”

“Following examination, (Netanyahu) was reassured that there is no change in the IDF’s policy and that military operations in Rafah will continue as planned,” the statement reportedly said.

The Israeli military then issued “a Hebrew-language clarification stating that ‘there is no pause in fighting in the southern Gaza Strip or Rafah. Additionally, no changes have been made to the entry of humanitarian goods to the Strip’,” according to the paper.

‘No Cessation’

Less than two hours after his post about a suspension of military activities, Adraee issued a statement saying “The IDF (Israeli military – PC) clarifies that there is no cessation of fighting in the southern Gaza Strip and that fighting in Rafah continues. There is also no change in the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip.

“The road through which goods pass will be open during daylight hours in cooperation with international organizations for the passage of humanitarian aid only.”

‘An Evil Fool’

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich hit out at the Israeli military after its suspension announcement.

“The one who decided on a “tactical truce” for the purpose of a humanitarian transition, especially at a time when many of our soldiers are falling in battle, is an evil and a fool who should not continue in his position,” he said on X.

“Unfortunately, this move was not brought before the cabinet and is contrary to its decisions. It’s time to get out of the concept and stop the crazy and delusional approach that only brings us more dead and fallen.”

Smotrich slammed the announcement as “detached” that “did not reflect any change on the ground.”

“The problem is that the General Headquarters is completely disconnected from the existence of the forces in the field. That he is able to issue such a message on a day when we are burying 11 of our best warriors,” he said on X.

Smotrich added: “The problem is that they do not understand that without international legitimacy it will indeed be very difficult for us to fight, but without legitimacy and without the spirit and motivation of the regular and reserve fighters we have no chance to fight and win.”

Over 37,300 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,337 Palestinians have been killed, and 85,299 wounded. Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

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The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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