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5 things to know about the Israel-Hamas War from this week: War cabinet, Gaza aid, Hezbollah, Egypt and Israel, ‘friendly fire’

The war between Hamas and Israel has now surpassed 225 days. Here are the key developments from this past week.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L), Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (C) and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz hold a press conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on October 28, 2023 the war between Israel and Hamas. (Photo by Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The war between Hamas and Israel has now surpassed 225 days. Here are the key developments from this past week.

1. Gantz, Gallant, Netanyahu clash over Haredi draft, future of Gaza war

Haredi Jewish men and youth raise placards during a protest against Israeli army conscription outside an army recruitment office in Jerusalem on April 11, 2024. (Photo by Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)

    Throughout the week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clashed with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz over the draft of Haredi yeshiva students and the goals of the war in Gaza.

    On Wednesday, Gallant called on Netanyahu to state clearly that Israel would not govern Gaza after the war. The defense minister stressed that an alternative government must be found for Gaza, adding that the cabinet has refused to discuss efforts to do so.

    Also on Wednesday, Netanyahu said he would promote a bill to draft some Haredi young men. Although Gantz had supported the bill in the last government, both Gantz and Gallant said that the legislation was meant as a temporary measure and is no longer relevant post-Oct. 7.

    Read more on the controversy surrounding the Haredi draft.

    Why it matters: Gallant and Gantz are the two most vocal critics of Netanyahu within the coalition and are seen as the main threats to the government’s stability.

    Last March, Gallant spoke out against the government’s judicial reform. Netanyahu threatened to fire the defense minister at the time, sparking massive protests across Israel.

    Gantz, who joined the coalition during the war, is expected to leave the coalition at some point, although when and how exactly he’ll leave is still unclear. When Gantz and his party eventually exit the coalition, the government will retain its power unless an additional five members also decide to leave the coalition with him.

    2. Protesters torch Gaza aid trucks, beat driver

    A man films with his phone a damaged trailer truck that was carrying humanitarian aid supplies parked along the Israeli side of Israel’s controversial separation barrier with the West Bank near the village of Shekef on May 13, 2024. (Photo by Oren Ziv/AFP via Getty Images)

    Protesters opposed to the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza attacked several aid trucks headed through the West Bank to Gaza on Monday.

    Footage from the scene showed protesters climbing onto the trucks and throwing the supplies they were carrying onto the road. A few hours later, some of the protesters set the trucks on fire. 

    On Thursday, a Palestinian truck driver was attacked and beaten by anti-aid protesters after they thought he was carrying aid for Gaza. The truck, it turned out, wasn’t carrying aid. The driver was seen lying, wounded, near the truck in photos from the scene.

    Later that day, protesters attacked an Israeli driver and his truck in the West Bank after they thought he was carrying aid to Gaza. The driver was moderately wounded and three soldiers who tried to help him were lightly wounded.

    Digging deeper: Opponents of the aid argue that only the bare minimum should be let into Gaza until the hostages are released to put pressure on Hamas. The protesters insist the aid is helping Hamas stay in power.

    The protests used to focus on blocking trucks at crossing points, but in recent weeks, protesters have begun directly targeting trucks.

    The E.U. and U.S. have called on Israel to act more strongly against the protesters, with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan saying Monday that the U.S. is “looking at the tools” available to respond to the issue.

    3. Hezbollah, Israel escalate on northern border

    Smoke billows above the Lebanese village of Bint Jbeil on February 28, 2024 amid ongoing cross-border tensions between Israel and Hezbollah as fighting continues in Gaza. (Photo by Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty Images)

    The conflict between Hezbollah in Israel escalated over the past week, with Hezbollah striking the farthest into Israel since the beginning of the war.

    A civilian was killed and several soldiers were wounded in several attacks along the border throughout the week.

    On Thursday, Hezbollah said it launched missiles from a drone toward an IDF post near Metulla, marking the first airstrike launched by Hezbollah. Three soldiers were wounded in the attack.

    On Wednesday, Hezbollah launched a drone toward an IDF base west of Tiberias, the deepest such strike by Hezbollah since the beginning of the war.

    Also that day, the IDF struck sites belonging to Hezbollah deep in Lebanese territory in the Baalbek area. Local sources reported that the strikes were the strongest conducted since the beginning of the war, with over 10 missiles launched toward the area.

    Digging deeper: Israel and Hezbollah have been exchanging fire since Oct. 8. The clashes between the two sides have been steadily escalating in the months since the war began.

    Ten Israeli civilians and 14 IDF soldiers have been killed in northern Israel since the war began. About 300 Hezbollah terrorists have been killed in the clashes. Tens of thousands of Israelis who live in the north have been evacuated from their homes.

    Evacuated residents and local leaders began protests on Tuesday, demanding that the government act to get them home safely by the start of the next school year in September.

    4. Egyptian-Israeli relations under threat amid Rafah operation 

    Palestinians flee from the border between Rafah and Egypt and head to safer locations on May 14, 2024. (Photo by Anas Zeyad Fteha/Anadolu via Getty Images)

    Relations between Egypt and Israel have grown even more tense after the IDF took over the Rafah crossing and launched an operation in eastern Rafah last Monday.

    In the days since the operation began, Egypt has refused to allow aid trucks to go to the Kerem Shalom crossing until Israel withdraws from the crossing. Israel has reportedly offered to allow Palestinian workers to take over the operation of the crossing with Israeli security control.

    Israel reportedly asked Egypt to allow some Gazans to enter the Sinai, but this request was denied.

    On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Egypt has even reportedly threatened to suspend its peace treaty with Israel and stop mediating ceasefire and hostage release talks with Hamas due to the operation in Rafah. Egyptian officials said that Israel had only given them a few hours’ notice before launching the operation.

    Why it matters: Since the beginning of the war, tensions have grown between Israel and Egypt, partially due to Egyptian concerns that Gazans may try to escape into the Sinai to flee the war.

    The entry into Rafah renewed those concerns, as Rafah sits right on the Egyptian border. Egyptian officials have also claimed that assurances they had received from Israel about giving Palestinians enough warning to evacuate Rafah and about not taking over the Rafah crossing had been violated.

    5. Five soldiers killed in second friendly fire incident in recent months

    Family members and friends mourn at a funeral for Israel Defense Forces Sgt. Gilad Aryeh Boim on May 16, 2024 in Karnei Shomron, West Bank. The sergeant was one of five soldiers killed in what the Army said was a “friendly fire” incident in Gaza, when an Israeli tank fired on a building the men were in. Seven others were injured. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

    Five Israeli soldiers were tragically killed after an IDF tank mistakenly fired on their position in Jabaliya in northern Gaza on Wednesday.

    The soldiers — identified as Sgt. Ilan Cohen, Staff-Sgt. Betzalel David Shashuah, Sgt. Daniel Chemu, Staff-Sgt. Gilad Arye Boim, and Cpt. Roy Beit Yaakov — all served in the Paratroopers Brigade.

    An initial investigation by the IDF found that a tank operating in the area fired shells toward the building after spotting a gun barrel from one of the windows of the building where the soldiers had set up post.

    Digging deeper: Friendly fire has been a repeated issue during the war in Gaza, with at least 47 soldiers killed and dozens more wounded in such cases since the beginning of the war.

    In several cases, soldiers fired at locations outside the designated boundaries of their sector. Several other cases were determined to be due to soldiers having poor orientation, possibly due to exhaustion.

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