MEA – Israel insists on continuing its aggression that it started on May 10 against the besieged Gaza Strip, despite the relentless international efforts to reach a ceasefire and the recent pressure from the US President, Joe Biden.
While an Israeli army official confirmed that Israel is conducting an assessment to ensure that the conditions of the “ceasefire” with the Gaza Strip are met, the Cabinet will not meet this evening, Wednesday.
The website of the newspaper “Yediot Aharonot” indicated that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would be satisfied with holding a session to assess the situation and further consultations with the leaders of the security services, pointing out that the indications issued by the Israeli government show a desire to continue the aggression.
Earlier today, the US President informed Netanyahu that he was expecting a “significant de-escalation today,” in preparation for reaching a ceasefire between the Israeli occupation army and the Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip.
The US President said to Netanyahu, according to a statement issued by the White House today, that he expects “a significant de-escalation today (Wednesday) in preparation for a ceasefire,” in a call that the White House said is the fourth between the two men since the start of the Israeli aggression on Gaza.
Israeli reports stated that Netanyahu rejects Biden’s request for a ceasefire, and says that “there is no time limit for the Israeli military operation” on the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli public channel (“Kan 11”) reported that the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, called on his Israeli counterpart, Benny Gantz, to “end the military operation in Gaza,” in a call between the two.
In a press briefing he gave to the Israeli media, an Israeli army official said that Israel “is looking for an appropriate time for a ceasefire,” but that the Israeli army, as he put it, is “preparing for other days” of fighting.
The source added, “We are assessing whether our achievements are sufficient, and whether our goal of weakening the fighting capacity of Hamas in Gaza has been achieved.” The source asked whether Hamas would understand the “message” which says that its missile strikes against Israel cannot be repeated.
For his part, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stressed the determination of what he described as “deterring Hamas”, at a time when the Israeli aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip continues. In a briefing given to a group of foreign ambassadors in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said, “There are only two ways in which you can deal with them (Hamas): Either you crush them, and this is always an open possibility, or you deter them, and we are now engaged in strong deterrence.” “I must say that we do not rule out any possibility,” he added.
These statements come after a fourth meeting of the Security Council since the start of the latest escalation on Tuesday failed to adopt a declaration calling for a truce, due to the obstruction of the United States. While France announced that it had proposed a draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in coordination with Egypt and Jordan, it is not known if and when it will find a way to search and vote.
Within the framework of the ongoing intensive diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire, other mediation is also being conducted through the United Nations with the assistance of Qatar and Egypt.
Netanyahu linked the escalation and the Palestinian Authority’s decision to cancel the Palestinian elections that were scheduled to take place on May 22, under the pretext of the Israeli occupation authorities ’refusal to guarantee voting in occupied East Jerusalem, claiming that Israel“ did not seek ”an escalation.
Hours after it was opened, the Israeli occupation authorities closed the Kerem Shalom crossing, leading to the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday, forcing trucks carrying international aid, including food, medicine and fuel, to return to their homes. The United Nations has warned of the danger of a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, with 72,000 Palestinians being displaced from their homes and 2,500 losing their homes in the bombing operations.