The war between Israel and Hamas: The dispute between Netanyahu and his rival shakes the Cabinet

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rebuked a senior government minister who arrived in Washington on Sunday for talks with American officials, according to an Israeli official, signaling widening cracks within the country's leadership nearly five months after… assuming power. War with Hamas.

The trip out Benny Gantza centrist political rival who joined Netanyahu's wartime government after the October 7 Hamas attack Friction between the United States and Netanyahu The talk revolves around how to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and what the post-war plan for the Strip should look like.

An official from Netanyahu's far-right Likud party said Gantz's trip was planned without permission from the Israeli leader. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Netanyahu had a “difficult conversation” with Gantz and told him the country had “only one prime minister.”

Gantz is scheduled to meet on Monday with US Vice President Kamala Harris and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and on Tuesday with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, according to his National Unity Party. A second Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Gantz's visit aims to strengthen relations with the United States, strengthen support for Israel's war, and push for the release of Israeli hostages.

In Egypt, talks were ongoing regarding… Brokering a ceasefire Before the holy month of Ramadan begins next week.

Israel did not send a delegation because it was waiting for answers from Hamas to two questions, according to a third Israeli government official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Israeli media reported that the government is waiting to know which hostages are alive and the number of Palestinian prisoners that Hamas seeks to exchange for each of them.

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The three Israeli officials spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the disputes with the media.

United State Airdrops began of aid to Gaza on Saturday, after dozens Palestinians rush to get food From a convoy organized by Israel were killed last week. Circumvention of airdrops The aid delivery system falters Due to Israeli restrictions, logistical issues and fighting in Gaza. Aid officials say airdrops are much less effective than truck deliveries.

US priorities in the region have been increasingly obstructed by Netanyahu's government, which is dominated by ultra-nationalists. Gantz's more moderate party sometimes acts as a counterweight.

Netanyahu's popularity decreased Since the outbreak of war, according to most opinion polls. Many Israelis hold him responsible for failing to stop the October 7 Hamas cross-border raid, which killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and took nearly 250 people hostage in Gaza, including women, children and the elderly. According to the Israeli authorities. .

More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the war, nearly two-thirds of whom are women childrenAccording to Ministry of Health in GazaWhich does not differentiate between civilians and combatants. About 80% of the population of 2.3 million people have fled their homes, and United Nations agencies say that hundreds of thousands have fled their homes. On the verge of starvation.

Israelis who criticize Netanyahu say that his decision-making process is tainted by political considerations, which Netanyahu denies. Criticisms are focused in particular on post-war plans in Gaza. Netanyahu wants Israel to maintain open security control over Gaza, with the Palestinians managing civil affairs.

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The United States wants to see progress in establishing a Palestinian state, and envisions a renewed Palestinian leadership running Gaza with an eye toward eventual statehood.

This vision is opposed by Netanyahu and the hard-liners in his government. Another Cabinet official He from Gantz's party questioned the way the war was handled and the strategy for freeing the hostages.

Netanyahu's government, the most conservative and religious government ever in Israel, was also shaken by a court-ordered deadline for a new draft law expanding military conscription for ultra-Orthodox Jews. Many of them are exempted from military service so that they can pursue religious studies. Hundreds of Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and the army is looking to fill its ranks.

Gantz remained ambiguous about his view on a Palestinian state. Opinion polls show he would get enough support to become prime minister if the vote were held today.

Visit the United States if met with progress On the hostage frontIt could boost Gantz's support further.

Israel and Hamas are negotiating a possible new ceasefire and hostage release agreement. Vice President Harris said on Sunday that it was now up to Hamas to approve it. “Given the enormous scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks, which is currently on the table,” Harris said.

Israelis, deeply shocked by the Hamas attack, broadly supported the war effort as an act of self-defense, even as global opposition to the fighting grew.

But a growing number are expressing their dismay at Netanyahu. Israeli media reported that about 10,000 people demonstrated on Saturday evening to demand early elections. Such protests have increased in recent weeks, but they remain much smaller than the demonstrations that broke out last year against the regime The government's plan to reform the judiciary.

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Reuven Hazan, a political science professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that if political differences grow and Gantz withdraws from the government, the floodgates will open to broader protests by a public that was already dissatisfied with the government when Hamas struck.

At least 12 people, including five women and two children, were killed in an Israeli raid Sunday that hit a home in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, according to an Associated Press journalist at Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Two Israeli raids southwest of Deir al-Balah killed at least five people and destroyed an aid truck, according to witnesses and hospital workers.

Amid concerns about the broader regional conflict, White House senior adviser Amos Hochstein traveled to Lebanon on Monday to meet with officials, according to an administration official who was not authorized to comment. White House officials want Lebanese and Israeli officials to prevent tensions along their border from escalating.

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Al-Shurafa reported from Rafah, Gaza Strip, and Magdy reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Melanie Liedman in Jerusalem and Amer Madhani and Seung Min Kim in Washington contributed to this report.

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Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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