Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday to maintain preventing in Gaza, at the same time as anguish over the Israeli army’s accidental killings of three hostages within the enclave raised new questions on how his authorities is prosecuting the warfare.
Mr. Netanyahu started a authorities assembly in Tel Aviv on Sunday by studying from a letter that he mentioned got here from households of Israeli troopers killed preventing in Gaza.
“You’ve a mandate to battle; you shouldn’t have a mandate to cease within the center,” Mr. Netanyahu learn in Hebrew, in line with an announcement from his workplace.
As a “testomony” to the fallen troopers, Mr. Netanyahu mentioned, Israel’s army would “battle to the top.”
The letter seems at odds with the message coming from family members of Israelis nonetheless held hostage in Gaza, lots of whom have taken to the streets to demand a cease-fire in order that their family members can return house.
Weekly rallies in help of the hostages have drawn 1000’s of protesters to Tel Aviv to exhibit exterior the Israeli army’s major headquarters. Information that the Israeli army had mistakenly killed the three hostages on Friday added a way of urgency to the rally on Saturday night time.
Tons of of protesters gathered on a central boulevard in Tel Aviv to exhibit towards the federal government earlier than marching via town to hitch the hostage rally.
“We see the present strategy isn’t working,” mentioned Deborah Galili, a protester from Tel Aviv. She mentioned she wished Mr. Netanyahu’s authorities to pursue a peaceable decision that may deliver the hostages house and finish the preventing.
A weeklong cease-fire between Israel and Hamas final month noticed 105 Israeli hostages freed in change for the discharge of 240 Palestinians from Israeli jails earlier than negotiations broke down and the warfare resumed on Dec. 1.
“Since then, Ms. Galili mentioned, “we’re not seeing extra hostages coming house alive.” A number of hostages have been confirmed dead by Israel’s army in latest weeks.
Some protesters mentioned that they believed the unintended killings of the three hostages by Israel’s army would mark a turning level in individuals’s willingness to publicly criticize Mr. Netanyahu and the best way his authorities is dealing with the warfare.
Ms. Galili was one in every of them.
“Mr. Netanyahu has not taken duty,” she mentioned, including that he must “step up” and take duty or step down.
Efi Toledano, one other demonstrator from Tel Aviv, had protested Mr. Netanyahu’s authorities earlier than the warfare. Whereas he stopped in wake of the Oct. 7 assault on Israel, the deaths of the hostages prompted him to renew protesting on Saturday night time.
“We have been taught that when there’s a warfare, we’re all to be quiet and help the troopers,” mentioned Mr. Toledano. He mentioned that the deaths of hostages prompt that Mr. Netanyahu is perhaps enthusiastic about persevering with the warfare even on the expense of hostages’ lives. Due to that, he added, “We’re returning to sound our voice and battle towards this authorities.”