Israeli gov’t faces acriticism over Gaza aid policy

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TEL AVIV — In a time when Israelis feel that their government is in disarray in dealing with humanitarian aid to Gaza, managing a policy riddled with contradictions, the far-right within and outside the government is demanding a halt to this aid, "fearing it might save Hamas," according to Finance Minister Tzvi Smotrich, seen by some as clinging to a policy of using starvation as a weapon in war. Former Navy commander Brigadier General Yehiezer Marom also criticized the idea of establishing a special maritime dock for aid entry, operated by the United States and the UAE, which recently began operations.اضافة اعلان

Marom, based on his 30 years of experience in the Navy, stated that this dock aims at "a sinister goal of lifting the blockade on Gaza" in place since 2010, part of Israel's policy to ensure control over the waters from Ras al-Naqoura to Rafah, as well as in the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, Al-Ghad reported.

In radio statements on Sunday, he added that he sees this dock as a threat to Israel's strategic national security. He emphasized that the talk about Israel's ability to monitor these aids and secure their maritime path is incorrect and unprofessional "because Israel cannot ensure such protection, and infiltrating the path via small boats is possible and straightforward."

He continued, "Hamas currently controls 70 percent of the aid entering Gaza. Therefore, the military achievements achieved by the army in breaking the movement and the blood that its soldiers and officers pay for them are wasted by the decision to break the siege and provide aid."

Increasing challenges
Netanyahu's office announced its intention to appoint a special official in his office to address the growing challenges facing humanitarian aid distribution in Gaza, working directly under his supervision to lead these operations. Political sources say this step comes following increasing international criticism and pressure from Western countries expressing concerns about a civilian catastrophe in Gaza, particularly from the United States, which showed strong signs of concern last week.

Israel also seeks to improve its international image by facilitating the aid delivery process, while facing significant challenges due to the chaos resulting from multiple aid-cutting authorities like Germany, France, the United States, Morocco, Jordan, and the UAE.

Netanyahu's contradictions
These sources say that Netanyahu resorted to this step to counter the pressures exerted by his Defense Minister, Ya'alon Galant, and the two ministers in the War Cabinet, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, as well as army leaders demanding the involvement of the Palestinian Authority and figures from Fatah organization in aid distribution in Gaza. Netanyahu strongly opposes this idea.

"Yedioth Ahronoth" newspaper revealed that Netanyahu instructed Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dremer to search for solutions to deal with the aid through international cooperation alternative to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Netanyahu consistently takes contradictory positions in this regard, approving military plans on the one hand and rejecting their recommendations on the other. He also submits to his far-right allies while succumbing again to American and international pressures. For example, he allows aid convoys to enter Gaza but also defends the army's practices of shooting at hungry and thirsty people flocking to relief trucks, resulting in the deaths of 440 individuals so far, according to Palestinian reports naming them "Flour Martyrs."

Insufficient aid
On the other hand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in the Palestinian government in Ramallah welcomed all efforts to deliver aid to the people in Gaza. The Ministry emphasized in a statement on Sunday that the aid received is insufficient compared to the enormous humanitarian needs of Palestinian civilians in the region, including their need for comprehensive and sustainable relief, as well as their basic humanitarian needs for water, medicine, health centers, electricity, and family reunification due to the forced displacement imposed by Israel on Gaza residents after destroying large parts of the sector.

The Ministry called for the necessity of opening all crossings and continuing the flow of aid by land, sea, and air, linking continuous relief campaigns with a genuine international effort leading to an immediate ceasefire "so that aid entry is not exploited by any Israeli manipulation to prolong the war and complete the annihilation of our people and their displacement, especially since citizens are paying with their lives to obtain flour and any other food items."

The Ministry emphasized the importance of the UN Security Council showing enough courage to make a binding UN decision to immediately cease fire, warning against any Israeli plans to create a state of internal chaos in northern Gaza to push citizens towards displacement, and any preparations to expand its aggression in Rafah governorate, which poses catastrophic risks to the lives of more than 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in a small geographic area due to continuous bombardment and displacement in a tight death circle due to the absence of any safe place in Gaza.

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