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Israel announced a “tactical pause”. The government is divided, Netanyahu is in a clinch

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The Israeli army announced on Sunday morning a “tactical pause” in its offensive in the southern Gaza Strip to allow more humanitarian aid to be delivered to the Palestinians. The several-hour break is to be repeated every day until further notice. The announcement was met with sharp criticism from far-right ministers in Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government.

The army said the pause would be in effect in the Rafah area from 8 a.m. local time (7 a.m. Polish time) to 7 p.m. (6 p.m. Polish time). The announcement stated that such breaks would take place every day until further notice.

The break is intended to allow aid trucks to reach the controlled area Israel crossing Kerem Shalom, the main aid transport point, and safely reaching the main north-south road and transporting cargo to other parts of the Gaza Strip.

According to the military, the break is coordinated with UN and international aid organizations.

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A sharp reaction from the far right

The announcement was met with sharp criticism from far-right ministers of the coalition government Benjamin Netanyahu. The army responded quickly, assuring that the “tactical pause” did not mean an end to the fighting in southern Gaza or any change in humanitarian access to the areas affected by the offensive, writes the BBC.

“The fact that the statement has aroused such emotion highlights the increasingly difficult situation of the Israeli prime minister, caught between the costs of his nebulous and as yet unachieved military goals of eliminating Hamas and bringing the hostages home, and his political allies who keep him in power,” the BBC comments .

The station writes that humanitarian organizations will still have to coordinate their activities with the Israeli army. Matt Hollingworth, director of the World Food Program in the Gaza Strip, said the test would be whether coordination would become smoother and faster as a result of the introduction of “tactical pauses” in military operations. He also noted that these are only some of the obstacles faced by agencies providing aid to the Gaza Strip.

Hollingworth emphasized that the south of the Gaza Strip is “currently the most dangerous area” of the enclave from the point of view of aid shipments.

According to the UN, after Israeli soldiers entered Rafah, from May 6 to June 6, an average of 68 trucks reached the Gaza Strip per day, much less than in April, when there were 168 such transports per day. This is well below Gaza's need of 500 loads per day.

Author:js, momo//mrz

Main photo source: EPA

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