update deskIsrael at War

Israeli gov’t to discuss linking temporary truce to US OK for Rafah op

Ministers are expected to vote on two key proposals during a meeting of the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes an evening Security Cabinet meeting at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv after Israel was attacked early in the morning by the Hamas terror group, Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes an evening Security Cabinet meeting at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv after Israel was attacked early in the morning by the Hamas terror group, Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

Israel’s Diplomatic-Security Cabinet is convening on Tuesday at the demand of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, with the topics on the agenda to include the ongoing truce talks and the state of the war in Gaza. The minister was set to put two proposals on the table during the meeting.

The first involves securing an American commitment to back Israel’s return to combat after a six-week pause in the fighting, and in particular a ground operation in Rafah in southern Gaza, as a condition for completing a deal.

The second aims to ensure that, as part of the Israeli concessions being discussed in Cairo, there will be no free movement of residents of the Strip from south to north, which would allow Hamas to reorganize and maintain its force.

On Monday, right-wing ministers lashed out over the Israel Defense Forces’ withdrawal the previous day from Khan Younis in southern Gaza, saying the move harms the war effort.

Smotrich called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately convene the Security Cabinet, which he argued had been sidelined.

“The only forum authorized to make significant decisions is the full [Security] Cabinet, but unfortunately this is not how things are happening, and we are seeing decisions being made in the smaller [War] Cabinet without approval…[and] under international pressure that is harming the war’s momentum and our interests,” he said.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir echoed the sentiment, tweeting: “If the prime minister decides to end the war without a large-scale offensive in Rafah to defeat Hamas, he will not have a mandate to continue serving.”

The IDF announced on Sunday that it had withdrawn almost all ground forces from southern Gaza, with only one brigade left in the northern and central Strip.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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