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Media Summary

The Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, and The Sun all report that Israel will attack the southern Gaza city of Rafah regardless of whether or not a ceasefire and hostage release deal is reached.

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The Telegraph, The TimesThe Independentand The Sun all report that Israel will attack the southern Gaza city of Rafah regardless of whether or not a ceasefire and hostage release deal is reached.

The Guardian, The Financial Timesand The Times report that G7 nations have urged officials at the ICC not to announce war crimes charges against Israel or Hamas officials, amid concerns that such a move could disrupt the chances of a breakthrough in ceasefire talks. The Guardian also publishes a piece saying “the Israeli prime minister has good reason to worry, and the defences he has offered so far are unlikely to help him.”

The GuardianSky NewsBBC Newsand The Financial Times all report that The ICJ rejected a request by Nicaragua to issue Germany emergency orders to desist selling arms to Israel, by 15 votes to one. The decision, according to the judgment read in court in The Hague, is largely based on a significant decrease in recent German arms sales to Israel, the largely defensive nature of arms recently sold, and the extensive internal German government processes to consider if arms would be used to prosecute war crimes or genocide.

The Times reports that Donald Trump has accused Netanyahu of not doing enough to stop the October 7 attacks.

The Times reports that, overnight, the police stormed the campus at Columbia University to make arrests of some of the protesters. The Daily Mail adds that students pleaded for ‘basic humanitarian aid’ to be delivered to those illegally occupying Hamilton Hall.

The Sun reports on Iran announcing it has created a new suicide drone to add to its rapidly increasing arsenal of homegrown attack drones. Despite stern international sanctions and an arms embargo, Iran has aggressively expanded its production line of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) enough to waste 170 of them in its flop blitz on Israel.

The Telegraph reports that Israel’s intelligence services have enrolled a swathe of new recruits from within Gaza to aid them in their search for the remaining hostages.

The Daily Mail reports that the Biden administration is considering allowing some Palestinians to live in the United States as refugees.

The Independent reports that Amy Schumer, who has been vocally supportive of Israel through the war, has said: ‘I don’t agree with anything that Netanyahu is doing’.

The I reports that a group of British, American and Middle Eastern businesspeople and philanthropists have set out an ambitious vision for Gaza to be transformed through a programme that includes job creation, a digital revolution, modern transport networks, connections to the outside world and building an elite football team.

The Israeli media is dominated by political tensions facing Prime Minister Netanyahu. Far-right ministers Smotrich and Ben Gvir are threatening to withdraw from the coalition and bring down the government if an operation in Rafah is not pursued and if a hostage deal containing what they consider major concessions to Hamas is agreed to. Israel Hayom quotes Ben Gvir as saying, following a meeting with Netanyahu, “The prime minister promised that Israel would enter Rafah, that the war would not be ended and that there would be no reckless deal.”  Netanyahu, he said, “understands full well what it means if these things do not happen.” At a meeting of his Religious Zionism party, Smotrich said “The State of Israel must choose. There is no middle ground: it is either victory or surrender. Accepting the deal that is currently on the table means unequivocally waving a white flag and granting victory to Hamas. This is precisely the point Sinwar planned to reach when he set out to massacre us. Accepting this deal while postponing the conquest of Rafah is exactly the fulfilment of his plan for victory, which is the surrender of the State of Israel.” Against this, Netanyahu faces pressure from centrist war cabinet Minister Eisenkot, who wrote on Facebook: “Six months ago, the security cabinet defined the war’s objectives. Two members of the cabinet have been blackmailing using political threats. This is a serious phenomenon that damages Israel’s national security. I will only be part of a government that makes decisions out of concern for the national interest of the State of Israel, not political considerations.”

Army Radio reports the intervention of Smotrich’s Religious Zionism colleague Minister Orit Struck, who told the station that “Soldiers who left everything behind and went out to fight for the objectives that the government set—and we’re throwing that into the trash in order to now save 22 people or 33 people or I don’t know how many? A government of that kind has no right to exist.” Both Minister Chili Tropper (National Unity Party) and opposition leader Lapid responded to Struck’s remarks. Trooper said: “One can be for the hostage deal proposal and one can be against it, but one can also spare us statements that are obtuse and insensitive towards the suffering of the hostages and their families, of the kind that Minster Orit Struck made.” Lapid responded by saying that a government with 22 or 33 extremist coalition members has no right to exist.

Yediot Ahronot’s Moran Azulay considers these tensions against the backdrop of US pressure against an operation in Rafah. “The argument Netanyahu has consistently made to American presidents— ‘I’ve got domestic political needs; you understand that’—isn’t working anymore after seven months of war, as [the war effort] limps along and the Saudis are waiting in the  wings. Biden has shown zero understanding for this. For a year-and-a-half he heard Smotrich wax poetic about the destruction of Huwara, coalition members contemplating in the media about dropping an atomic bomb on Gaza and Ben Gvir’s musings, including his hope [that Biden] would lose the election to Trump. The line of credit Netanyahu was given for his political needs has been squandered. His line of credit has run dry.”

Channel 12 polling shows a majority of Israelis (58 percent) in favour of Netanyahu resigning. The same poll predicts that were an election to be held today, the current coalition would receive 50 seats and the opposition 60, with the United Arab List and Hadash-Ta’al on 5 seats apiece, The poll breaks down as: National Unity Party, 3; Likud, 18; Yesh Atid, 15; Shas, 10; Yisrael Beiteinu, 10; Jewish Power, 10; United Torah Judaism, 8; Hadash-Ta’al, 5; United Arab List, 5; Meretz, 4; Religious Zionist Party, 4. Were a new centre-right party to be formed and led by former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, former Mossad Director Yossi Cohen and MK Gideon Saar, it is slated to receive 18 seats. Were the Labour Party to be run by Yair Golan, it would cross the electoral threshold and receive 6 seats.

Haaretz reports that two Israeli soldiers killed on Sunday in Gaza appear to have been the victims of friendly fire. An initial IDF investigation indicates that Master Sgt. (res.) Ido Aviv and Master Sgt. (res.) Kalkidan Mehari were killed when an IDF tank shell hit the building in which they were staying, due to a mistaken identification.

Israel Hayom features news of a stabbing attack yesterday in the Old City of Jerusalem, in which a Border Police officer was attacked. The attacker, apparently a tourist from Turkey, was killed.

Haaretz reports on events in the north, where Israeli fighter jets have attacked Hezbollah military targets in five locations in southern Lebanon overnight. The targets included observation posts and a military building in the areas of Blida, Khiam, and Kfarkela. This morning, sirens were heard in Israel’s north, close to the Lebanese border