Israel investigates soldier over mutiny threat

israel investigates soldier over mutiny threat

Women transport hay on a donkey-pulled cart along a devastated street in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip - Eyad Baba/AFP

The Israeli military said Saturday that it was investigating a reservist soldier who threatened mutiny if the government doesn’t push for “complete victory” over Hamas.

Footage of a masked soldier in what appeared to be the ruins of Gaza shows him warning Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, that “we reservist soldiers do not intend to hand the keys over to any Palestinian authority”.

The soldier said that he would defy defence minister Yoav Gallant if he ordered them to pull back from the fight, and that troops would only follow Mr Netanyahu.

He added: “We do not intend to give the keys to Gaza to any entity — Hamas, Fatah or any other Arab entity. Reservist soldiers are behind you and we want to win.”

The IDF told the Times of Israel: “The behavior in the video is a serious violation of IDF orders and IDF values, and constitutes a suspicion of criminal offenses.”

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said military had ordered a criminal investigation into the clip.

04:58 PM BST

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We’ll be back tomorrow with the latest updates on the war.

04:50 PM BST

Dublin: Israel “parading” ambassadors in front of TV cameras is unacceptable

Simon Harris, Ireland’s Taoiseach, has said it was “unacceptable and unnecessary” for the Israeli government to “parade” ambassadors in front of TV cameras at a showing of October 7 footage.

The ambassadors to Israel from Ireland, Norway and Spain were invited to watch the footage after their countries on Thursday recognised a Palestinian state.

“The parading of ambassadors in front of TV cameras in Israel was unacceptable and unnecessary. We have made that known,” Mr Harris wrote in an article for the

04:25 PM BST

Spanish defence minister says Gaza war is ‘real genocide’

The Spanish defence minister said on Saturday that the conflict in Gaza is a “real genocide”, as relations between Israel and Spain worsen following Madrid’s decision to recognise a Palestinian state.

Reuters couldn’t immediately reach Israeli officials for comment on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.

Israel has strongly rejected accusations made against it by South Africa at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that it is committing a genocide against Palestinians, saying it is waging war on the Hamas militant group which attacked on Oct. 7.

The remark by Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles in an interview with TVE state television echoed a comment by Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz who earlier this week also described the Gaza conflict as a genocide.

04:07 PM BST

Israeli strike kills two Hezbollah fighters in Syria

An Israeli drone strike in central Syria killed two fighters from Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement on Saturday, a war monitor said.

“An Israeli drone fired two missiles at a Hezbollah car and truck near the town of Qusayr in Homs province, as they were on their way to Al-Dabaa military airport, killing at least two Hezbollah fighters and wounding others,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It was the third strike against Hezbollah targets in Syria in about a week.

On Monday, Israeli strikes in the Qusayr area, which is close to the Lebanese border, killed eight pro-Iranian fighters, said Observatory, a Britain-based monitor with a network of sources in Syria.

03:24 PM BST

War in pictures

israel investigates soldier over mutiny threat

The wounded, including children, are brought to Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City - Anadolu

israel investigates soldier over mutiny threat

An Israeli soldier works on a tank near the Gaza border in southern Israel - Tsafrir Abayov/AP

israel investigates soldier over mutiny threat

Palestinians search for survivors at the site of an Israeli strike on the Al-Daraj neighbourhood in Gaza City - Omar Al-Qattaa/AFP

02:46 PM BST

Watch: How the ICC bared its teeth - and caught the West off guard

02:29 PM BST

Democrat senator tells Biden ‘not to pander’ to pro-Palestine protesters

Joe Biden must back Benjamin Netanyahu even at the cost of votes in the presidential election, a pro-Israel Democrat senator has warned, writes Tony Diver.

John Fetterman, who has made headlines for his preference for hoodies and shorts on Capitol Hill, warned the US president not to “pander to the fringe” of pro-Palestine protesters.

The Pennsylvania Democrat has become one of the party’s more unlikely and loudest supporters of Israel in recent months – plastering the walls of his office in photos of hostages taken by Hamas and calling for the Biden administration to supply any weapons Israel needs to fight in Gaza.

Read the full piece here.

02:11 PM BST

Israel official says ‘intention’ to renew Gaza talks ‘this week’

An Israeli official said Saturday the government had an “intention” to renew “this week” talks aimed at reaching a hostage release deal in Gaza, after a meeting in Paris between US and Israeli officials.

“There is an intention to renew the talks this week and there is an agreement,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity without elaborating.

01:41 PM BST

Israel-Hamas talks on hostage deal expected next week, source says

Mediated negotiations between Israel and Hamas to reach a deal to free Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip are due to restart next week, an official with knowledge of the matter said on Saturday.

The decision to restart the talks, said the source, who declined to be identified by name or nationality given the sensitivity of the issue, came after the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency met with the head of the CIA and the prime minister of Qatar, which has been a mediator.

“At the end of the meeting, it was decided that in the coming week negotiations will open based on new proposals led by the mediators, Egypt and Qatar and with active U.S. involvement,” the source said.

01:21 PM BST

How Biden’s Gaza pier promises more than it delivers

When Joe Biden announced plans to build a temporary pier off the coast of Gaza, he promised a “massive increase” of aid going into the sealed-off enclave that was witnessing a “heartbreaking” humanitarian disaster, writes Nataliya Vasilyeva.

But just a week into the pier’s operation, the project is already beset by problems, including injuries among its US personnel.

The structure has cost about $320 million and took some 1,000 US service members to build before it went into operation a week ago.

Read the full piece here.

01:02 PM BST

War in pictures

israel investigates soldier over mutiny threat

Relatives of the Palestinians who lost their lives in Israeli attacks over Nuseirat Refugee Camp - Anadolu

israel investigates soldier over mutiny threat

Palestinians fleeing from Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip arrive in Gaza City - Xinhua/Shutterstock

12:22 PM BST

Spain demands Israel comply with UN court ruling on Rafah

The Spanish government demanded on Saturday that Israel comply with an order by the top UN court to immediately stop its bombardment and ground assault on the Gazan city of Rafah.

It stressed that the ruling on Friday by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was legally binding.

“The precautionary measures set out by the ICJ, including that Israel should cease its military offensive in Rafah, are compulsory. Israel must comply with them,” Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares wrote on X.

“The same goes for a ceasefire, the release of the hostages and access for humanitarian aid (to Gaza),” he said.

12:06 PM BST

Israel ignores ICJ ruling with continued assault on Rafah

Israel bombed Rafah and other parts of the Gaza strip on Saturday, a day after the top UN court ordered it to halt military operations in the southern city.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) also demanded the immediate release of all hostages still held by Palestinian militants, hours after the Israeli military announced troops had recovered the bodies of three more of the captives from northern Gaza.

The Hague-based court, whose orders are legally binding but lack direct enforcement mechanisms, also ordered Israel to keep open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which it closed earlier this month at the start of its assault on the city.

Israel gave no indication it was preparing to change course in Rafah, insisting that the court had got it wrong.

11:28 AM BST

Body of Shani Louk’s boyfriend recovered from Gaza refugee camp

Israeli troops have retrieved the bodies of three hostages kidnapped by Hamas, including the boyfriend of German-Israeli Shani Louk, writes Nataliya Vasilyeva.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Friday that troops had managed to recover the bodies of Michel Nisenbaum, 59, Hanan Yablonka, 42, and Orion Hernandez Radoux, 30, from Gaza.

Read the full piece here.

11:18 AM BST

War monitor: Israeli strike kills two Hezbollah fighters in Syria

An Israeli drone strike in central Syria killed two fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement on Saturday, a war monitor said.

“An Israeli drone fired two missiles at a Hezbollah car and truck near the town of Qusayr in Homs province, as they were on their way to Al-Dabaa military airport, killing at least two Hezbollah fighters and wounding others,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

11:01 AM BST

Damascus: Car blast kills one in Syrian capital

A car explosion killed one person in Damascus on Saturday, the official Syrian news agency SANA reported, without identifying the victim.

Security incidents, including blasts targeting military and civilian vehicles, occur intermittently in the capital of war-ravaged Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor with a network of sources on the ground, said three vehicles caught fire in the area.

The explosion comes against a backdrop of heightened regional tensions, including the war between Israel and the Iran-backed Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

10:44 AM BST

Watch: Hezbollah rally commemorating Iranian president

10:27 AM BST

Hay Festival bows to pressure and cuts ties with sponsors over Israel links

The Hay Festival has ended its sponsorship deal with investment firm Baillie Gifford following a boycott by celebrities including Charlotte Church over its links to Israel, writes Anita Singh.

Church became the latest speaker to pull out of the event in protest at its relationship with Baillie Gifford, which invests in companies with links to Israel’s defence, technology and cybersecurity industries.

Read the full piece here.

10:05 AM BST

G7 finance leaders to call on Israel to maintain Palestinian bank links

G7 finance leaders will call on Israel to maintain correspondent banking links between Israeli and Palestinian banks to allow vital transactions, trade and services to continue, according to a draft joint statement seen by Reuters on Saturday.

The statement, to be released at the end of a Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors’ meeting in northern Italy, also calls for Israel “to release withheld clearance revenues to the Palestinian Authority, in view of its urgent fiscal needs”.

The statement echoes a warning on Thursday from Janet Yellen, the US treasury secretary, who said the failure to renew a soon-to-expire banking waiver would cut off a critical lifeline for the Palestinian territories amid a devastating conflict in Gaza.

“We call on Israel to take the necessary measures to ensure that correspondent banking services between Israeli and Palestinian banks remain in place, so that vital financial transactions and critical trade and services continue,” the draft statement said.

09:52 AM BST

Egypt agrees to send aid trucks through Israeli crossing to Gaza

Egypt said Friday it has agreed to send United Nations humanitarian aid trucks through Israel’s main crossing into Gaza, but it was unclear if they will be able to enter the territory as fighting raged in the southern city of Rafah amid Israel’s escalating offensive there.

Meanwhile, the bodies of three more hostages killed on October 7 were recovered overnight from Gaza, Israel’s army said Friday. The CIA chief met in Paris with Israeli and Qatari officials, trying to revive negotiations for a cease-fire and a hostage release.

Gaza’s humanitarian crisis has spiraled as the UN and other aid agencies say the entry of food and other supplies to them has plunged dramatically since Israel’s Rafah offensive began more than two weeks ago. On Friday, the top UN court — the International Court of Justice — ordered Israel to halt the Rafah offensive, though Israel is unlikely to comply.

At the heart of the problem lie the two main crossings through which around 300 trucks of aid a day had been flowing into Gaza before the offensive began.

09:40 AM BST

Italy pledges additional 35 million euros of aid for Palestinians

Italy will resume funding for the United Nations’ Palestinian relief organisation Unrwa as part of a 35 million euro ($38 million) aid package, Antonio Tajani, the Italian foreign minister, said on Saturday.

Tajani made the commitment during a meeting in Rome with Mohammad Mustafa, the Palestinian prime minister.

The Italian minister said five million euros would go to Unrwa projects, with the remainder destined for its “Food for Gaza” initiative.

Italy was one of a number of countries to block aid for Unrwa following accusations by Israel that some of the agency’s staff were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel that triggered the Gaza war.

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