Biden is considering stopping the supply of some weapons to Israel
The Biden administration is considering slowing or suspending the supply of some offensive weapons to Israel to persuade the Netanyahu government to scale back its military offensive in Gaza. NBC News reports this, citing three American executives and one former, noting that no decision has been made yet. However, the Pentagon has already examined on behalf of the White House which weapons Israel wants could be used as a means of pressure. These include 155mm artillery shells and Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), guidance sets that convert dummy bombs into precision-guided munitions. According to the sources, the US government will likely continue to provide other conversion kits that make Israeli ammunition more precise. The same sources added that the US is unlikely to slow down the delivery of air defense systems, as well as other systems that can protect Israeli civilians and infrastructure from attack, although the idea has already been considered. The government is focusing on offensive military equipment and considering what might withhold or delay it.
Abu Mazen: “The campaign against UNRWA is unjust, Israel wants to liquidate the issue of Palestinian refugees”
Abu Mazen's presidency condemned Israel's “unjust campaign” against UNRWA, which “aims to resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees,” which contradicts the United Nations' 1949 determinations. The Presidency – quoted by Wafa – has then asked countries to announce the cut in funding to “withdraw their position” until “the investigations” into the twelve employees fired for suspected links to Hamas are completed. Finally, he denounced that “the real aim of the Israeli campaign is to eliminate the role of UNRWA in Gaza in the post-war period.”
Ten nations at the table in Paris: release of the hostages and ceasefire
“The release of the hostages and the ceasefire, the revision of the Palestinian Authority and the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel in exchange for the creation of a Palestinian state.” These are the “three conditions to which senior officials from at least ten different “U.S.-led governments that include Israel and some Arab countries,” the New York Times writes, calling this group of officials and diplomats trying to find “solutions” to “end the war in Gaza “, but above all “to answer the question of how the area should be governed when the fighting stops”. The goal would be to “establish a stable government in Gaza after the conflict” and this would require a “transformation of the Palestinian Authority,” but in this context “it is not clear how Hamas can be persuaded to step down.” The New York Times emphasizes that the hypothesis emerged in the officials' conversations “that power within the Palestinian Authority will be transferred from incumbent President Abu Mazen to a new prime minister, while at the same time leaving a ceremonial role to the incumbent president.” This would be accompanied by “the deployment of an Arab peacekeeping force to Gaza to support the new Palestinian government.” Among the hypotheses that have emerged, the American newspaper continued, is that Abu Mazen “is credited with being killed by Salam Fayyad, a Princeton professor He modernized the agency during his time as prime minister a decade ago, or be replaced by Nasser al-Kidwa, a former Palestinian envoy to the United Nations who broke with Abu Mazen three years ago. But diplomats say the current Palestinian president “is pushing for a candidate over whom he can have greater influence, such as Mohammad Mustafa, his long-time economic adviser.”
Mossad chief in Paris to discuss hostage agreement
Mossad chief David Barnea arrived in Paris today to speak with delegations from the US, Qatar and Egypt about a possible deal to release hostages in Gaza. This was confirmed by three sources cited by Haaretz. Barnea will meet CIA Director Bill Burns, Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel. On the negotiating table is a two-month break in the war in return for the release of over 100 hostages.
Guterres (UN): “For 12 UNRWA employees who may be Hamas accomplices, the population of Gaza cannot be starved”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres promises legal consequences after 12 UNRWA employees were accused of involvement in attacks against Israel on October 7. “Any staff member involved in terrorist attacks will be held accountable, including in criminal investigations,” he said in a UN statement. The United Nations Office of Internal Audit has launched an investigation. So far, nine of the 12 agency employees Israel accuses of involvement in the Hamas attacks have been identified and immediately fired. A tenth was declared dead and the identities of the remaining two are being examined by investigators. “The tens of thousands of men and women who work for UNRWA, many of them in one of the most difficult situations for humanitarian workers, must not be punished. “The essential needs of a desperate population that they are trying to alleviate must be taken into account,” he added, calling on countries that have suspended their contributions to the agency, including Italy, to ensure the continuity of their work.
UNRWA, Director Lazzarini: “Funds cut? Over a million people in the Gaza Strip will be left without food or shelter.”
Following the suspension of funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, director Philippe Lazzarini expects to stop delivering aid that two million people in Gaza rely on. “Nine countries have temporarily stopped funding UNRWA. “These decisions endanger our humanitarian work in the region, particularly in the Gaza Strip,” he said. UNRWA operates shelters for more than a million people and provides food and basic medical care. “The Palestinians in Gaza did not need this further collective punishment,” he stressed. Countries including Italy, Britain and the United States stopped funding the agency after Israel announced that 12 agency employees, who were immediately fired, were involved in the October 7 attacks.
Israel is calling for the resignation of the director of the UN refugee agency UNRWA
Israel's foreign minister is also calling for the director of the United Nations refugee agency UNRWA to resign after allegations led to nine countries, including Italy, cutting off funding. Israel reported that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the October 7 attacks. “Lazzarini, please resign,” wrote Israel Katz. Government spokesman Eylon Levy accused the agency of being a “front” for Hamas.