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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

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Israeli war cabinet minister Gantz asks Blinken to reconsider plan to sanction the IDF’s Netzah Yehuda Battalion

Israel’s War cabinet minister Benny Gantz urged US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to reconsider the US plan to sanction the IDF’s Netzah Yehuda Battalion.

Not only will sanctioning the battalion harm Israel’s legitimacy as it fights the Hamas group in Gaza, but there is no justification for the US to do so, Gantz told Blinken.

Gantz said that the Israeli judicial system is strong and independent and added that all IDF units are subject to the IDF’s code of conduct and orders in accordance with international law.

The two also discussed the urgent need to work together with regional partners and put together a plan for the day after the war in Gaza, while also placing pressure on Hamas to return the hostages.

Meanwhile, thousands of Israeli citizens took to the streets, their voices echoing through city squares and boulevards as they marched in unison demanding significant governmental reforms and swift action to secure the release of hostages held in Gaza.

This latest wave of protests underscores the deep-seated discontent brewing among the populace, particularly directed towards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration.

At the heart of the demonstrators’ grievances lies a palpable frustration stemming from perceived security lapses that led to a devastating attack by Hamas fighters last October.

Many demonstrators hold Netanyahu personally responsible for these failures, citing a lack of decisive action and inadequate safeguards to protect Israeli communities from such threats.

As a result, calls for new elections reverberate through the crowd, buoyed by hopes for a change in leadership and a renewed commitment to addressing pressing national security concerns.

Despite mounting pressure and widespread calls for early elections, Netanyahu remains resolute in his stance, adamantly rejecting the notion as he emphasizes the need to maintain a unified front in the face of ongoing conflict with Hamas.

His reluctance stems from concerns that premature elections could inadvertently bolster the position of Hamas, potentially undermining efforts to secure the release of hostages and further exacerbating tensions in the region.

The protests serve as a poignant reminder of the collective anguish felt by families of the hostages still languishing in captivity.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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