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Israel held hostage by 'irresponsible lunatics', opposition leader Lapid says

April 30, 2024 at 8:21 pm

Former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid [Israeli Parliament (Knesset)/Anadolu Agency]

Israel is held hostage by “irresponsible lunatics”, Israeli opposition leader, Yair Lapid, said on Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The State of Israel has become a hostage of irresponsible lunatics. You can’t go on like this,” Lapid wrote on X.

He accused Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, of failing to achieve the objectives of the ongoing war on the Gaza Strip since 7 October, particularly eliminating Hamas and releasing Israeli hostages held in the enclave.

“A minister with a criminal record stands in the Prime Minister’s office and threatens the Prime Minister with the consequences if he does not do what he is told,” Lapid said, referring to far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir.

“Ben-Gvir tells the whole world and the whole region that Netanyahu is weak and works for him. It is unbelievable that he is not fired on the spot,” Lapid said.

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Netanyahu said early Tuesday that the army will invade Rafah, home to more than 1.4 million displaced Palestinians, with or without a ceasefire deal with Hamas.

Netanyahu’s statements came amid reports of a new ceasefire proposal being discussed by Hamas and Israel to end the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

The new proposal includes Israel’s willingness to discuss the “restoration of sustainable calm” in Gaza after an initial release of hostages on humanitarian grounds, two Israeli officials told news website, Axios.

Hamas is expected to deliver its response to the truce proposal later this week.

Israel has waged an unrelenting offensive on the Palestinian enclave since a cross-border attack by Hamas last 7 October which killed some 1,200 people.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

More than 34,500 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and thousands of others injured amid mass destruction and severe shortages of necessities.

More than six months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, pushing 85 per cent of the enclave’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which, in January, issued an interim ruling that ordered it to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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