Middle East

Netanyahu denounces Israeli army’s ‘tactical pause’ in southern Gaza Strip

Army said earlier it would implement daily ‘tactical pause’ of military activity in southern Gaza Strip to allow more aid into Palestinian enclave

Zein Khalil  | 16.06.2024 - Update : 16.06.2024
Netanyahu denounces Israeli army’s ‘tactical pause’ in southern Gaza Strip


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he heard the reports of a “tactical pause” in the southern Gaza Strip this morning from the media, which was announced by his country's army, affirming his rejection of it.

This came in a speech during the weekly meeting of the Israeli government in Tel Aviv, according to the Israeli Channel 12.

Netanyahu claimed: “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.”

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

Expressing his rejection of the statement, Netanyahu reiterated: "Regarding the news I heard in the media this morning for the first time, I said it is unacceptable to me and it was not coordinated with me."

He also noted: “There are short cease-fire periods on short axes to bring humanitarian aid into Gaza, ... but not in the manner announced by the army spokesman."

“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,” Netanyahu sent a statement through a senior Israeli official, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“Following examination, Netanyahu was reassured that there is no change in the army's policy and that military operations in Rafah will continue as planned,” the statement added.

Commenting on Adraee's statement, the army said in a statement on X: “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.”

Earlier, the Israeli army said it would implement a daily “tactical pause” of military activity in the southern Gaza Strip to allow more aid into the Palestinian enclave.

"To increase the volume of humanitarian aid entering Gaza and following additional related discussions with the U.N. and international organizations, a local, tactical pause of military activity for humanitarian purposes will take place from 08:00 until 19:00 every day until further notice," the army said in a statement.

The pause applies “along the road that leads from the Kerem Shalom Crossing to the Salah al-Din Road and then further north,” it added.

Besides killing more than 37,300 Palestinians, Israel’s eight-month military offensive and blockade in Gaza has plunged the territory into a humanitarian crisis, with international aid agencies reporting widespread hunger and hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of famine.

Israel is also accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

* Writing by Rania Abu Shamala

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