Israel is facing a crisis due to chaos and hunger in Gaza

WASHINGTONPOST

NEGATIVE
Pressure kept building Thursday, as Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned that Israel risked becoming an international “pariah” if Netanyahu remained in power.
AdvertisementWhen asked about the hunger crisis in northern Gaza, Netanyahu replied: “That’s not the information we have.
At least 27 people, mostly children, have died of malnutrition or dehydration in recent weeks, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
“This was chaos of Israel’s own making,” said one of the administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive conversations.
“Ultimately, Israel is responsible for the mass hunger and lack of aid going in.”Netanyahu has remained defiant.
For at least two months, Israel has been partnering with local businessmen to truck in aid to the north.
More than 150 aid trucks, mostly from the private sector, entered northern Gaza in the past two weeks, according to COGAT.
The trucks enter through a new crossing — called “96,” near Kibbutz Beeri — and continue unaccompanied to northern Gaza.
“We will flood Gaza with aid.”But getting trucks into the Strip is only the first in a string of compounding challenges.
Hamas warned this week that any Palestinians who would work alongside Israel to provide security for aid convoys would be targeted as collaborators.

TEL AVIV: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly celebrated the defeat of Hamas in northern Gaza for three months, ignoring concerns that a severe food shortage and an expanding power vacuum were bringing about chaos. Wp Immerse yourself completely. Pick your strategy ArrowRight However, in the wake of the recent debacle involving an aid convoy in Gaza City and with news of Palestinian children starving to death, Netanyahu is going to have to answer to the world. The US is putting increasing pressure on him to avert a famine and bring peace back to the beleaguered enclave. Officials from both inside and outside the country claim that the problem originated with Israel’s inability to prepare for the aftermath of an indefinite military occupation or to create a viable postwar strategy.

The situation in northern Gaza indicates “the depths of the quagmire, the chaos and the inability to simply reinstate any kind of normalcy” following the end of the most intense stages of combat, according to Eran Etzion, a former deputy chief of Israel’s National Security Council.

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Etzion went on, “Legal responsibility for preventing famine rests with Israel; to do otherwise would be a betrayal of the norms Israel purports to uphold, not to mention a calculated move to deflect international criticism.

On Thursday, the pressure increased as Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (Democratic-N. Y. ) expressed concern that if Netanyahu stayed in office, Israel would end up a global “pariah.”. The most blatant indication yet of Washington’s frustration with the Israeli prime minister and his management of the Gaza conflict came from the high-profile speech made by the country’s most senior Jewish official.

The Israeli government, divided between a coalition whose far-right members want to occupy the Strip and the security establishment that demands an exit strategy, is ill-prepared to respond to the bigger questions raised by the chaos in the north. Netanyahu once more rejected the notion of transferring authority to the Palestinian Authority, which Washington views as the only strong rival to Hamas, in an interview with Politico on Sunday.

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Netanyahu said, “That’s not the information we have,” in response to a question regarding the hunger crisis in northern Gaza. And we keep a close eye on it. Above all, it’s not our policy. Our stance is to provide the greatest amount of humanitarian relief that is possible. “.

Working to undermine UNRWA, the U.S. N. Palestinian Refugee Agency, the most experienced organization in Gaza when it comes to relief and other services. Israel accused over a dozen of the agency’s employees of participating in the October campaign, leading to the United States and other international donors to withdraw funding from the organization in January. Seven assaults. The UNRWA employees who were purportedly involved in Oct. 7 and is looking into the claims.

According to UNRWA, the conflict has destroyed more than 150 of its facilities and claimed the lives of at least 165 of its employees. 23 people were hurt and one employee died on Wednesday as a result of an Israeli strike on a food distribution facility in Rafah. Israel declared that it was going after a Hamas leader who was allegedly supplying the organization with weapons; Hamas recognized the man as the local deputy chief of police.

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John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, stated on Thursday that the Biden administration wanted Israel to carry out “a swift and thorough investigation as to exactly what happened” and expressed “great concern” over Wednesday’s strike in Rafah. “.

Aid organizations and allies are warning that time is running out as the Israeli government is stalling and looking for alternatives with UNRWA effectively sidelined. A large portion of the 300,000 people who are still living in the north skip at least one meal a day and turn to foraging for wild plants and animal feed instead. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, malnutrition or dehydration has claimed the lives of at least 27 people in recent weeks, the majority of them were children.

Famine is going to strike if we do not dramatically boost the amount of aid going into the northern areas, according to Cindy McCain, head of the U.S. N. In a statement released on Monday, World Food Program said.

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Israel Ziv, the former chief of the Israel Defense Forces’ Operations Directorate, claimed that the Israeli government “is not working to translate the army’s significant tactical successes into something sustainable,” while the US, Europe, and Arab countries are currently rushing to increase assistance through airdrops and a new maritime corridor.

February brought to light the extent of the humanitarian crisis. 29, during the predawn darkness, when thousands of Gazans, starving, stormed a food convoy. Palestinian health officials reported that when Israeli forces opened fire, over 100 people died. Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israeli military, stated that the majority of the dead were stampeded underfoot and that Israeli forces had only fired warning shots. The bulk of the patients treated by Palestinian medical professionals had gunshot wounds, they reported. a collection of U. Not N. Specialists referred to it as a “massacre.”. “.

Speaking to The Washington Post, two senior Biden administration officials said that while the exact sequence of events was still unknown, Israel was responsible for setting the stage for the tragedy. After three days, Vice President Harris demanded an “immediate cease-fire” and additional aid to Gaza, saying there would be “no excuses” for the administration’s criticism of Israel.

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Following that, President Biden declared that Israel would be in charge of securing a marine corridor for aid and the building of a pier off the coast of Gaza.

One administration official claimed, speaking under anonymity to discuss delicate discussions, that “Israel created this chaos.”. The mass hunger and lack of aid entering the region are ultimately Israel’s fault. “.

Netanyahu is still unflinching. In an address to the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby on Tuesday, he declared that the international community could not “support Israel in its efforts to destroy Hamas, then oppose Israel when it takes the necessary steps to accomplish that goal.”. “.

Furthermore, he pledged to continue the military operation in the southern city of Rafah, where 1.5 million displaced Gazans have sought safety. Before an invasion, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Wednesday that civilians would be evacuated to “humanitarian islands” in the middle of the territory.

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According to an Israeli official who spoke to The Post under anonymity because he was not allowed to speak to the media, Netanyahu’s administration was not involved in the pier project. However, he added that it was pleased to see the establishment of the maritime aid corridor, for which Israel has been advocating since the early stages of the ground assault.

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Diplomats and humanitarian organizations assert that continuous, unrestricted land access is preferable to delivery via air or sea. Before the war, an average of 500 trucks per day entered Gaza; however, Israeli restrictions during the five months of hostilities have kept the daily average well below the 200 that Israel had agreed to facilitate. Few trucks passed through in the middle of February on some days, partly as a result of Israeli attacks on aid convoys and the police forces (the last standing arm of Hamas rule) that guarded them. Aid deliveries virtually stopped as security in the north broke down.

According to the Israeli official, Israel is still looking for a new partner “on the ground in terms of delivering aid in a better way.”. “Eventually, the intention is for there to be a dot. who will eventually change Gaza’s course and be able to keep law and order around the delivery of [aid]. “.

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It is not yet clear who will be in charge of that endeavor or how Israel will locate them. In addition, the government has not established a specific timetable for achieving the war’s primary objectives, which are the destruction of Hamas and the release of the over 100 hostages who are still detained in Gaza.

Former IDF Gaza division commander Gadi Shamni stated, “As long as there’s no ‘day after’ strategy, it creates a situation in which the IDF is starting to go in circles.”.

Israel has been transporting supplies up north with the help of neighborhood businessmen for at least two months. Some hints regarding Israel’s postwar plans can be found in the pilot program, which was largely ignored until the fatal convoy incident.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the delicate situation, one of the businessmen involved in last month’s deadly convoy stated that the initiative initially involved five business owners in Gaza, each of whom was given a daily allocation of 20 trucks. An agency of the Israeli Defense Ministry called the businessman last month and asked if he could transport food up north.

The businessman claimed that he accepted the job in spite of his concerns about looting because he thought the influx of supplies would lower the skyrocketing prices on Gaza’s black market. Following the tragedy on February… 29, he halted the convoy planning, saying, “Never look for law and order amid starvation,” though he did point out that other Palestinian businessmen were still actively participating in the initiative.

According to COGAT, over 150 relief trucks—the majority of which are private—have entered northern Gaza during the last two weeks. New procedures that were put into place this month “at the request of the U. S. trucks are inspected at Israel’s southern border crossing at Kerem Shalom, after which they are driven 30 miles along a road that runs parallel to the security fence with the IDF accompanying them, the IDF stated in a statement. Through a new crossing near Kibbutz Beeri, known as “96,” the trucks enter Gaza and proceed northward alone.

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On Tuesday, Hagari informed foreign media that six WFP trucks had driven through the corridor.

“International organizations and other nations need to work together to create an alternative for the north,” he declared. “We’ll pour tons of aid into Gaza. “.

However, getting trucks into the Strip is just the beginning of a series of more difficult problems.

“The objective is to have an increasing number of containers, but the issue of who will receive them, secure them, and sort them keeps coming up, and Israel keeps finding itself back at the beginning,” stated Michael Milshtein, the former head of the Israeli military intelligence’s Palestinian division.

The pilot program for the distribution of aid has brought Netanyahu’s vaguely defined postwar plan for Gaza, which was unveiled last month, more attention. It called for collaborating with “local entities with managerial experience,” which was widely taken to mean some of the most influential families, or clans, in Gaza who had previously ruled over various areas of the enclave and had run afoul of Hamas.

This week, Hamas issued a warning, threatening to label as collaborators any Palestinians who aided Israel in securing relief convoys.

The website al-Majd, which is affiliated with Hamas, quoted an anonymous military official to state that Israel’s “attempt to communicate with the leaders and clans of some families to operate within the Gaza Strip is considered direct collaboration with the occupation and is a betrayal of the nation that we will not tolerate”.

And there are other barriers besides Hamas.

Speaking on the sensitive topic of postwar discussions under anonymity, an Israeli official stated, “You cannot find a family that can exert that kind of control.”.

Throughout the years, Israel has attempted to work with regional clans as a substitute for national movements such as Fatah and the Palestinian Authority. The most recent attempt at this was during the 1980s.

The retired Israeli general Ziv claimed that the plan has been tried and warned that it runs the risk of “turning Gaza into Somalia, with each family fighting each other and getting armed and Israel won’t step in.”. “.

According to Milshtein, the former Israeli intelligence official, in the absence of a more workable long-term plan, the Israeli military may find itself occupying Gaza indefinitely, which Washington has declared to be unacceptable.

Rather than seeking a collaborator to work in Gaza, Israel is instead beginning to establish various agreements with Palestinian businessmen and clans. waiting for a miracle of some kind to occur,” he uttered. “It is an illusion that any of it could succeed. “.

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