Netanyahu should be thrown out now, says ex-PM Olmert

Ehud Olmert said that Netanyahu and his administration were a “real danger” to Israel’s stability…reports Asian Lite News

A former prime minister of Israel said on Thursday that current premier Benjamin Netanyahu should be removed from power for being a “real danger” to the country, despite the ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

Ehud Olmert told Sky News that Netanyahu and his administration were a “real danger” to Israel’s stability and he should be “thrown out” of office during an interview with the channel’s international affairs editor, Dominic Waghorn.

Speaking ahead of a ceasefire coming into effect in Gaza alongside a hostage release brokered by Qatar, scheduled to start Friday morning, Olmert said a break in hostilities could inspire widespread protests within Israel against Netanyahu.

“(The Israelis) can’t stand him, if there will be a break of a couple of days, they will change direction and move out into his home or his office and, you know, there will be demonstrations the like of which we’ve never seen in our country,” he said.

“The amount of rage, which has been built up inside the people, is just unbelievable,” he added. Olmert said Netanyahu would face serious pressure and should leave office immediately.

“As far as I’m concerned, based on my judgement of what is good for Israel or not, he should go today. He should go this minute. He should be thrown out any minute,” he said.

“He is a real danger to the stability, to the solidarity, of the Israeli society and to the ability of the Israelis to return again to a normal pace of life, which is something we need after this terrible disaster we have experienced,” he added.

Olmert said he did not shy away from expressing his opinion and added that “elder statesmen” of Israeli politics were “aware of what I think.”

He continued: “I said it time and again, at this moment and at this second, he has to leave. And I really think that Netanyahu, in the words of Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, (is) the worst leader in the history of the Jewish people.”

Aid trucks enter Gaza from Egypt after truce begins

In a breakthrough agreement, Egypt announced the daily entry of 200 trucks carrying humanitarian aid, a total of 1,30,000 litres of diesel, and four trucks of gas into the Gaza Strip during a temporary ceasefire starting at 7 am (local time) on Friday, The Times of Israel reported.

The highly anticipated deal involves the release of 50 Israeli hostages, primarily women and children, by Hamas over a four-day period, accompanied by the release of 150 Palestinian prisoners.

The hostage-and-truce agreement, mediated by Egypt and Qatar, follows the abduction of 240 people by Hamas and other terror groups on October 7 during a violent rampage in southern Israel, resulting in the death of 1,200 people, mostly civilians. The negotiations outline a four-day ceasefire, with hostages released in groups daily. The initial release, set for Friday afternoon, involves 13 women and children, as reported by The Times of Israel.

Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Majed Al-Ansari, confirmed the release but provided no details on the hostages or the route for security reasons. The first 50 hostages are expected to exit through Egypt, CNN reported.

Concurrently, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said that that 80 aid trucks carrying food, water, medical equipment, medications, and relief supplies entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing on Thursday.

A large aid convoy is positioned at the Egypt-Gaza border, ready to move into the strip immediately after the truce between Israel and Hamas begins, an official told CNN.

The entry of fuel was allowed in the besieged enclave on November 18, following approval by Israel’s war cabinet to facilitate regular deliveries to the besieged enclave.

Israeli military spokesperson Rear Adm Daniel Hagari said that the fuel would support desalination facilities providing water to the southern strip. The oversight of this process is led by the United States and Egypt.

The decision taken earlier allowed two fuel tankers a day to enter Gaza, providing essential support to the water and sewage systems on the verge of collapse due to a lack of electricity.

The decision was made in consultation with the Israel Defence Forces and Israel’s International Security Academy, ensuring it aligns with operational objectives and does not support Hamas, as clarified by Hanegbi.

The rationale behind the decision was framed within the context of avoiding the spread of pandemics, acknowledging the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

However, as of 6 pm Thursday, only 80 trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered Gaza through Egypt’s Rafah Crossing, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. This falls short of international agencies’ goals, with a pre-war average of 500 aid trucks entering Gaza daily. Despite the UN’s initial target of 100 trucks per day, this has been achieved only a few times since aid was permitted on October 21, The Times of Israel reported.

While the US and other international brokers advocate for over 100 daily trucks to meet the escalating need, Israel committed to allowing a minimum of 200 humanitarian aid trucks into Gaza each day during the multi-day truce with Hamas. However, the existing aid delivery mechanisms of the IDF are deemed insufficient for this required increase, as communicated by two Biden administration officials to The Times of Israel.

In addition to the aid trucks, 75,000 litres of fuel reached Gaza from Egypt on Thursday, aligning with Israel’s November 18 decision to permit two fuel trucks daily. This is intended to support food distribution, hospital generators, water and sanitation facilities, shelters, and other critical services, according to UNOCHA.

The fuel situation has been a key focus of recent discussions, including those with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tel Aviv earlier this month. The move to allow fuel deliveries comes after weeks of pressure from the US, CNN reported. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Allow more aid into Gaza, Cameron urges Israel

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