Netanyahu dissolves Israel’s war cabinet – Mondoweiss

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Casualties 

  • 37,347 + killed* and at least 85,372 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
  • 544+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
  • Israel revised its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,140.
  • 662 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,664 have been wounded.***

* Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel on June 17, 2024. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on June 13, this is the latest figure.

*** These figures are released by the Israeli military, listing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” According to the head of the Israeli army’s wounded association to Israel’s Channel 12, The number of Israeli soldiers wounded exceeds 20,000 including at least 8,000 permanently handicapped as of June 1.

Key Developments 

  • Israel kills 81 Palestinians, wounds 270 since Thursday, June 13, across Gaza, raising death toll since October 7 to 37,347 and number of wounded to 85,372, according to the Gaza health ministry.
  • Netanyahu dissolves Israel’s war cabinet, which was formed following October7 attack.
  • Israel’s channel 12 says that Netanyahu will form a small committee made of war and strategic affairs ministers, for urgent political decisions, replacing the war cabinet.
  • Israel’s supreme court suspends investigation into October 7 failure.
  • The International Criminal Court expected to deliver decisions on arrest warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant, as well as Hamas’s leaders Haniyeh, Sinwar and Deif, in the next 10 days.
  • The Israeli army announces 12 solidiers have been killed, and 19 wounded, in Gaza in the last week.
  • The Israeli government extends military service for reservists for 3 additional months.
  • Israeli forces kill Palestinian journalist Mahmoud Qassem in Gaza City, marking the 151st journalist killed by Israel since October 7.
  • WHO says that 10,000 people in Gaza need to receive urgent medical treatment outside the strip.
  • UNRWA says that military operations in Rafah continue, despite the Israeli army’s announcement on Sunday of a tactical halt.
  • Norway increases funding for UNRWA.
  • Gaza’s government media office says that Israel and the US are exploiting the needs of civilians and children through starvation for political goals.
  • Israeli settlers torch farming lands in the village of Burqa, northeast of Ramallah.
  • Israeli government to approve the legalization of four settler outposts in the West Bank.
  • Lebanon: Israel bombed the towns of Amra, Naqoura, and ِAitaroun in southern Lebanon, while Hezbollah attacked an Israeli army’s base on Mount Meron in the Galilee.
  • Lebanon: The Israeli army’s spokesperson says that Hezbollah has launched 5,000 rockets on Israel since October 8.

Netanyahu dissolves war cabinet, U.S. envoy arrives in the region

On Monday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved the Israeli government war cabinet that was formed immediately following the October 7 attack, and that has been directing the war for nine months.

Netanyahu’s move came a week after two key members of the war cabinet, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot, resigned in protest of Netanyahu’s leadership, calling for early elections.

The formation of the war cabinet, which excluded Netanyahu’s governing coalition allies, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, was Gantz’s condition to join, back in October. Following Gantz and Eizenkot’s resignations, both Ben-Gvir and Smotrich, who are controversial to Israel’s western allies due to their explicitly racist rhetoric, have demanded to join the cabinet.

The resignations are expected to increase pressure on Netanyahu to conclude a ceasefire and prisoners’ exchange deal with Hamas. However, Netanyahu will now face less opposition within the government, from which he will now direct the war. Israel’s channel 12 reported on Monday that Netanyahu will form a small committee, including minsters of war and strategic affairs, for urgent political consultation.

Meanwile, the U.S. special envoy, Amos Hochstein, arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday to meet top Israeli officials, in an attempt to prevent a wider escalation between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Last week, the Lebanese group launched the largest-yet rocket attack against Israel, in response to the killing of one of its commanders by an Israeli strike in southern Lebanon. Meanwhile, Israel continues to target south Lebanon towns with air strikes, killing at least 414 Lebanese.

On Sunday, U.S. President Joe Biden repeated that the deal drafted by the U.S. earlier in June was the best way to end the current war. Washington maintains that the draft is an Israeli proposal, while Israeli officials have publicly rejected it.

Starvation spreads in Gaza as fighting intensifies

Gaza’s government media office said in a statement on Monday that Israel and the U.S. are using starvation to exploit the civilian population’s needs for their own political goals. The statement came days after the World Health Organization warned that half of Gaza’s population will face starvation by July, as Israel continues to close the strip’s crossing points.

Last Thursday, the UN said that some 8,000 children were diagnosed with malnutrition in Gaza. Several reports have warned over recent weeks of a new wave of starvation in the north of the Gaza Strip. Already 32 Palestinians, including 28 under the age of five have died of malnutrition since October, according to reports.

Israel has been closing the land crossings into Gaza since its invasion of Rafah, in early May, significantly reducing the already-crippled entry of humanitarian aid to the strip.

Meanwhile, fighting intensified over the weekend between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance groups in Rafah, particularly around the Philadelphi corridor along the Egyptian border.

On Saturday. The Israeli army admitted the death of eight of its soldiers in the explosion of a personnel carrier, after it was attacked by Palestinian fighters, in Tel al-Sultan in Rafah. The Israeli forces also announced the killing of an officer and a soldier in Rafah, and two officers in the northern Gaza Strip.

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