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Israel: war has entered a new phase with troops moving ‘quickly’ through Gaza Strip



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Over the weekend, Israel’s defense minister announced troops are moving quickly through the Gaza Strip, indicating a “new phase” of the war has been entered.

“We moved to the next stage in the war,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a broadcast according to The Associated Press. “Last evening, the ground shook in Gaza. We attacked above ground and underground. … The instructions to the forces are clear. The campaign will continue until further notice.”

Israeli Defense Forces flooded Gaza with leaflets warning residents that the city is now a “battlefield.”

“To the residents of the Gaza Strip: The Gaza governorate (Gaza City) has become a battlefield. Shelters in northern Gaza and Gaza governorate are not safe,” leaflets dropped by fighter jets warned, according to AFP.

On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated the primary goal: eliminate Hamas. “Our heroic fighters have one goal: To destroy this enemy and to make sure the existence of our country. Never again. ‘Never again,’ is now,” he said in a televised address to the nation, according to CNN.

As of now, as many as 8,700 people on both sides have been killed, according to Fox News. That includes 1,400 Israeli civilians and 33 Americans. The Gaza health ministry says that more than 7,400 Palestinians have been killed, including 110 in the West Bank, according to the outlet. In addition, 229 are believed to being held captive, including at least 10 Americans.

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Biden Administration Undermines Bibi’s Vision For Post-War Gaza



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Follow Steve Postal: @HebraicMosaic


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (“Bibi”) revealed a basic framework for how he believes Gaza should be governed following the war. Gazans would govern on the local level, would have “administrative experience” and would not be allowed to have any affiliation with “countries or entities that support terrorism.” By this standard, Netanyahu may be envisioning a government without ties to Iran, Qatar or even the Palestinian Authority.

Israel’s goals of the war according to the framework are “the destruction of the military capabilities and governmental infrastructure of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the return of the hostages abducted on October 7, and the removal of any security threat from Gaza Strip long-term.” The framework also discusses an “indefinite” period where the IDF can operate in Gaza, and a buffer zone to be constructed within Gaza to last “as long as there is a security need for it.”

But while Bibi has offered a reasonable vision for post-war Gaza, the Biden administration continues to undermine Israel’s efforts.

First, the Biden administration continues to gaslight Israel, with President Biden saying that Israel may lose its standing in the world if it continues to have an “incredibly conservative government.” This remark was so brash that Bibi responded to it publicly. And meanwhile, Qatar’s role internationally and as a mediator in the hostage crisis remains unquestioned by the Biden administration, despite the fact that Qatar has paid Hamas $2 billion in the past 10 years, and recent revelations that it trained Hamas operatives at the Qatar Police College.

Second, while the Biden administration maintains that it doesn’t want Hamas to rule the Strip, it continues to not committo Israel’s right to destroy Hamas given Hamas’ stated goal to eliminate Israel. This dithering from the administration continues as Israel has intelligence that Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran will ratchet up attacks during Ramadan and try to achieve another October 7-like event.

Third, in opposition to Bibi’s concept of a buffer zone, the Biden administration has stated that it does not want to see Gaza reduced in size. The Biden administration’s position that Gaza will not lose territory seems ridiculous given that Hamas started four wars with Israel since the 2005 disengagement (in 2008-2009, 2012, 2014, and now 2023-2024), as well as incessant missile attacks and terror tunnels.

Fourth, the Biden administration continues to call for a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority. While Bibi has telegraphed some flexibility on this issue, this “revitalization” looks like it will violate Israel’s national security interests. The Palestinian government in Judea and Samaria has resigned, and the Biden administration has supported this development, in the spirit of “reform and revitaliz[ation],” as well as the unification of a Palestinian entity in Gaza and Judea and Samaria. However, there is a plan backed by Arab governments to have the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) absorb Hamas into a new government, and this appears to be at least tacitly endorsed by the Biden administration. The administration continues to not indicate how “revitalization” will address the toxic ideology of Hamas, which is slated to be absorbed somehow into the Palestinian Authority, or the Palestinian Authority itself, which praises Hamas, the October 7 attacks, and calls for destroying the Jews and Israel. Nor does this address the perennial issue of how the US government can avoid supporting terrorism through 1) supporting a unity PLO-Hamas government and 2) supporting the Palestinian Authority regardless because of its “pay-to-slay” compensation program. And several analysts have also criticized the government’s resignation as merely “cosmetic,” enabling Abbas to consolidate power and to avoid true reform.

Fifth, the Biden administration stated that Israeli “settlements” in Judea and Samaria are illegal under international law, a reversal from the Pompeo Doctrine of the Trump administration. This cuts against the heart of Israeli interests, as over 517,000 Israelis now live in Judea and Samaria, up almost 40 percent from just 10 years ago, and these Israelis represent a cross-section of Israeli society (haredi, religious Zionist, and secular).

Sixth, the Biden administration continues to support a Palestinian state. In contrast, both the current right-wing government, and a whopping 74 percent of Israelis reject the concept.

While Israel continues to make gains on the battlefield, the Biden administration risks undermining those gains by continuing to push a political settlement that will strengthen terrorism and weaken Israel. Hopefully, Bibi will be able to overcome these counterproductive forces, and realize his vision for a demilitarized post-war Gaza.

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