RNS: In a rare display of unity amidst heightened conflict, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz have come together to announce the establishment of an emergency wartime government.
This collaborative move aims to address the ongoing hostilities with the terrorist organization Hamas, which initiated its attack on Israel on October 7.
President Netanyahu and opposition leader Gantz made it clear that the unity government’s primary focus would be the management of the ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza.
They emphasized that the government would refrain from promoting any unrelated policies or legislations during this critical period.
Notably, the current Israeli Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, is expected to play a pivotal role within the newly formed government.
Additionally, the invitation was extended to Yair Lapid, the chief opposition leader, to join the coalition, although there has been no immediate response from him. The fate of Netanyahu’s existing government partners remains uncertain, as the leaders asserted their unity in the shared objective of dismantling Hamas.
As the conflict intensifies, Israeli jets continue to target the Gaza Strip in response to the weekend attack by Hamas terrorists. The toll on both sides has tragically risen, with over 3000 lives lost.
In light of the escalating situation, U.S. President Joe Biden has issued a stern warning to Iran against getting involved in the conflict, amid concerns of a broader regional escalation.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to arrive in the Middle East today to demonstrate Washington’s support for Israel, engage in negotiations for the release of American captives, and facilitate de-escalation talks.
Earlier developments saw Gaza’s sole power station forced to shut down as Israel severed electricity supplies, along with essential goods such as medicines, food, fuel, and water.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized the pressing need for rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip.
He urged that essential supplies must be allowed to reach civilians in Gaza, who are facing the dual challenges of Israeli bombardment and blockade, underscoring the humanitarian imperative of the moment.