Israel military sacks senior officers after aid workers killed in Gaza


In the end, Benjamin Netanyahu was left with no other option. After months of apparently ignoring Washington’s concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, he was forced to make concessions, or face the threat of a shift in the US policy towards his country.

The port of Ashodod, about 30km from Gaza, will be used to increase humanitarian supplies into Gaza, and the Erez crossing will be reopened into northern Gaza, where there are concerns that famine is imminent.

This marks a major shift in Israeli policy. Israel was already facing growing isolation over the way it has conducted its war against Hamas in Gaza, where more than 33,000 Palestinians have been killed and a humanitarian crisis only gets worse.

The Israeli attack on the World Central Kitchen convoy that killed seven aid workers sparked widespread condemnation, and indicated that patience with the country was running out.

Biden officials have repeatedly voiced their frustration with Netanyahu but US policy, especially about the vast weapons exports to Israel, has remained unchanged, to the anger of many in the US and elsewhere.

Netanyahu was warned by Biden yesterday that US support for the Gaza offensive could change if Israel did not step up the delivery of aid and took additional measures to protect civilians and aid workers.

Netanyahu faces increased pressure from all sides. Internationally, calls for a ceasefire are getting louder. Domestically, families of the hostages who remain in Gaza accuse him of not prioritising their release.

He remains defiant and insists that the military will launch an offensive into Rafah, the last relatively safe area in Gaza. He says a major operation, which has faced opposition by virtually everyone outside Israel, is vital to defeat Hamas. This is likely to be the next big test for Israel.

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