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Media Summary

BBC News reports on the operation to save four hostages on Saturday, citing the Hamas-run health ministry as saying Israel “killed 274 people, including children and other civilians”.

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BBC News reports on the operation to save four hostages on Saturday, citing the Hamas-run health ministry as saying Israel “killed 274 people, including children and other civilians”. This is compared to the IDF who estimate fewer than 100 people died during the operation. Sky News has published a profile on who each of the four hostages are. The Guardian compared it to being like “the horrors of judgement day”, while The Financial Times said the raid took a “horrific toll” on Gaza and The Times interviews Palestinians whose family members were killed. The Times also publishes an overview of the operation. The Telegraph and The Times publish pieces arguing in favour of supporting Israel’s mission to find more hostages. The Guardian also publishes a piece at the celebrations after the rescues in Israel on Saturday. BBC News also reports that the father of a rescued hostage died just before his son was rescued. The Daily Mail reports on Noa Argamani not seeing sun for 245 days during her captivity.

BBC News, The Financial TimesThe Economist, Sky NewsThe Timesand The Guardian report that Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz has quit the emergency government in a sign of deepening divisions over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s post-conflict plans for Gaza.

The Times publishes a piece on how the war has impacted ordinary families in both Israel and Gaza.

The Telegraph publishes a piece looking at the options for Israel when facing the possibility of escalation to war with Hezbollah.

BBC News and The Guardian, report that The UN has added the Israeli military to a list of offenders failing to protect children last year, Israel’s ambassador to the UN says Gilad Erdan, who said he had been notified of the decision on Friday, described the decision as “shameful”. Foreign Minister Israel Katz said it would “have consequences for Israel’s relations with the UN”.

The Guardian reports that aid has begun to come ashore in Gaza from a US-made pier once more, two weeks after the short-lived sea corridor was suspended due to storm damage, but security concerns after one of the bloodiest days of the war meant the aid was not distributed.

The Guardian reports on Israeli peace protesters who have formed their own protests because of isolation from wider demonstrations led by anti-Israel activists.

Reuters reports that a ban on Al Jazeera’s operations in Israel was extended for another 45 days by Israel’s telecoms regulator on Sunday after the cabinet agreed its broadcasts posed a threat to security.

The Daily Mail reports on a pro-Palestinian protest outside The White House that descended into “chaos”.
Yediot Ahronot’s Nahum Barnea assesses Gantz and Eisenkot’s resignations. The National Unity Party’s ministers,” he writes, “can take comfort in the first and last actions of their tenure. The first was on October 11, when the prevented the enactment of a plan, which had Gallant and the IDF’s support, to launch a proactive and far-reaching military operation in Lebanon. The American administration also applied pressure to that end, as did several Israeli security officials. Back then, they encountered a different Netanyahu: a Netanyahu who was panicked as a result of the October 7 disaster, depressed and paralysed. Their final act was the decision that was passed by the emergency cabinet endorsing the advanced contours of a hostage deal proposal. The hostages’ families, as well as Gantz and Eisenkot, swiftly acted to name that proposal after Netanyahu. That gambit confounded the Bibi-ists for a few days: is Netanyahu for the proposal or against it? The National Unity Party’s departure will impede dialogue between Netanyahu and foreign governments, mainly the American administration. He has lost his fig leaf. The departure will also put Smotrich and Ben Gvir to the test; they too have lost their fig leaf. It leaves Gallant and the chief of staff on their own, facing a government that doesn’t know the meaning of responsibility. Gantz’s appeal to Gallant yesterday in his speech was an overt invitation to join them in leaving. I’m not sure that Gallant was pleased to hear all of the compliments he received from Gantz.

On the same topic, Maariv’s Anna Barsky writes that “Gantz and his colleagues will now pivot from being an opposition within the government to being an opposition within the opposition, in the hope that they don’t find themselves wasting away there for another two years until the next elections are held and, instead, can successfully force early elections. Gantz, Eisenkot and their fellow party members could no longer allow themselves to continue to be identified  with the Netanyahu government, and they certainly could no longer continue to grant it broad public legitimacy. The restoration of the coalition to its natural, 64-seat proportions, might be the opening shot signalling to the opposition and the protesters to intensify the demonstrations, to escalate their attacks and to rattle the political foundations of the current government.”

Haaretz’s Amos Harel analyses claims from Israeli defence officials that a negotiated deal remains the best way to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas and other groups since their capture on 7th October. Noting that “Hamas will presumably learn lessons from this weekend’s operation, tighten security around the hostages and make their living conditions even harsher” which would increase the difficulty of future rescue operations, Harel posits that its degradation in Rafah “creates a renewed opportunity to move ahead on a deal that would include a cease-fire and maybe even a diplomatic agreement in the north”. However, he also acknowledges that it “depends on the willingness of both the Israeli leadership and Hamas’ leadership. And at the moment, there doesn’t appear to be particularly great willingness on either side”.

Also in Haaretz, Tzvi Barel argues that Qatari threats to expel Hamas’s leaders – presumably following US pressure – are highly unlikely to incentivise Yahya Sinwar into agreeing a ceasefire deal. Barel concludes that “If there’s real leverage on Sinwar, it lies in an alternative government that will be established in Gaza and not in the ‘sheltered housing’ that Haniyeh enjoys in Qatar or the one that will be offered to him in other countries”.

Haaretz reports that follow Benny Gantz’s resignation, Prime Minister Netanyahu is considering dissolving the War Cabinet with National Security Minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, demanding to join it. The report also highlights the mixed reaction to Gantz’s resignation, with Yair Lapid and Avigdor Lieberman praising it, but with broader condemnation from right-wing and ultra-orthodox politicians.

Ynet reports that the intelligence leading to the rescue of Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Shlomi Ziv, and Andrey Kozlov was provided to Israel by the UK and US. While identifying the limitations of Israel’s intelligence gathering capabilities, the article reports how “a senior Israeli official stated that British and American drones are able to provide information that Israel’s drones are unable to collect” and that “US surveillance drones mostly have the same sensors as the British and Israeli ones, but the large number of American aircraft allows surveillance of additional territory more frequently and for longer periods of time”. The article also suggests that Israeli hostages are increasingly being held in Gazans’ homes rather than underground in tunnels given the difficulties of doing so.

Israel Hayom reports on sirens sounding in the northern Israeli city of Acre, as well as blasts being reported over the port city of Haifa. This is now understood to have been undertaken as a precautionary step by the IDF during the interception of airborne projectiles. According to reports, multiple interceptions took place in the Acre and Haifa vicinity, with residents reporting hearing several explosions. Emergency services reported only one minor injury, a woman who was hurt while seeking shelter