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‘Operation al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 248: Gantz Resigns From War Cabinet

Above photo: Aftermath of the Nuseirat Massacre, June 8, 2024. Omar Ashtawy/APA Images.

Israel kills 274 Palestinians while freeing four Israeli prisoners in Gaza.

Blinken arrives in Cairo on his eighth tour to the Middle East since the beginning of the war in the hopes of pushing for a ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal.

Casualties

  • 37,084 + killed* and at least 84,494 wounded in the Gaza Strip.*
  • 534+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
  • Israel revised its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,140.
  • 646 Israeli soldiers have been announced killed since October 7, and at least 3,657 have been announced as wounded.***

*Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel on June 6, 2024. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on June 5, this is the latest figure.

*** These figures are released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” The number of Israeli soldiers wounded according to declarations by the head of the Israeli army’s wounded association to Israel’s channel 12 exceeds 20,000 including at least 8000 permanently handicapped as of June 1st.

Key Developments

  • Israel kills 430 Palestinians, wounds 1185 since Thursday, June 6, across Gaza, raising death toll since October 7 to 37,084 and number of wounded to 84,494, according to the Gaza health ministry.
  • Israel’s Benny Gantz resigns from Netanyahu’s war cabinet.
  • Israeli forces release four Israeli captives in an operation that killed at last 274 Palestinians in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip. 160 of them were women and children.
  • Al-Qassam Brigades say Israeli forces killed three Israeli captives, including one American citizen, during the operation that resulted in the release of four captives.
  • Noa Argamani, one of the four captives released by the Israeli army on Saturday, said that two other captives who were held with her were killed by Israeli bombings.
  • Avi Rosenfeld, commander of the Israeli army’s Gaza division resigns from his position over the failure of October 7.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken begins a tour in the region to promote a ceasefire and prisoners’ exchange deal.
  • U.S. mission distributes amended ceasefire resolution draft to UN Security Council members, urges council to vote on it.
  • Fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance factions continues in Rafah, Deir al-Balah, and north of Gaza City.
  • UNRWA chief warns of cholera outbreak in Gaza as a result of Israel’s destruction of water infrastructure.
  • Israeli forces kill six Palestinians in the West Bank since Thursday, two of them on Monday.
  • Hezbollah conducts 11 attacks on Israeli targets since Sunday, while Israel bombs several towns in south Lebanon.

Israel commits massacre in Nuseirat while freeing four captives

At least 274 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli land, air, and sea raid on the center of the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Saturday, the Palestinian health ministry said in an updated statement on Monday. The attack resulted in the freeing of four Israeli captives and their returning to Tel Aviv.

The four Israelis, captured by Palestinian fighters on October 7, are the only captives that Israel has been able to free by force in eight months of the ongoing war. Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, who was holding the captives when freed by the Israeli army on Saturday, said in a video statement on Sunday that during the operation, Israeli forces killed another three captives, one of whom was a U.S. citizen. Al-Qassam released pictures of three presumably dead individuals, blurring their faces, indicating that they were Israeli captives killed in the same operation.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian health ministry announced that among the 274 victims of Israel’s massacre in Nuseirat, 160 were women and children. At least 400 were wounded, including many children, and were transferred to two of the remaining functioning hospitals in the strip, al-Awda and al-Aqsa Martyrs hospitals.

The Gaza-based government media office said in a statement that the number of wounded who arrived at the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital following the massacre at Nuseirat exceeds the hospital’s capacity, with many wounded lying on the ground without beds, including children.

A survivor of the Nuseirat massacre told Al-Araby TV in front of one of the hospitals that “thousands of people were in the market area in the center of Nuseirat buying food, when suddenly we saw helicopters and quadcopter [drones] over the market area, opening fire.”

Mondoweiss spoke to survivors of the Nuseirat massacre and documented their testimonies.

The massacre at Nuseirat came only three days after an Israeli air strike on an UNRWA school, also in Nuseirat, killed 45 Palestinians, including 14 children and nine women.

Regular Mondoweiss contributor and Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at the now-destroyed al-Aqsa University in Gaza, Haidar Eid, described the reverberations of the Nusierat massacre in an ode to the refugee camp, where he was born:

Nuseirat is a microcosm of the genocide. The lives of four white Ashkenazi Israelis are equivalent to the lives of 274 native mothers, doctors, and children. The white world is celebrating this “victory” regardless of the “collateral damage,” as long as the victims are not like “us,” the white gods of this unjust world.

Benny Gantz resigns from war cabinet as Blinken arrives in the region

Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz announced his resignation from the Netanyahu-led war cabinet on Sunday, dealing a political blow to the Israeli Prime Minister.

Gantz, the main opposition figure to Netanyahu, had announced back in mid-May that he would resign from the war cabinet on June 8 in disagreement over Netanyahu’s leadership of the current war on the Gaza Strip.

“Netanyahu prevents us from moving forward to a real victory,” Gantz said in a televised statement on Sunday. “That is why we are leaving the emergency government today with a heavy heart, but with a whole heart.

Gantz also called for early elections to form a new government, while apologizing to the families of Israeli captives for failing to free them, calling on Netanyahu to accept the U.S.-proposed ceasefire and prisoners’ exchange deal.

Gantz’s resignation does not affect Netanyahu’s government coalition, which relies on a 64-to-120 majority in the Knesset. However, his resignation leaves the war leadership without a national consensus, splitting the Israeli political position on the continuation of the war.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Cairo on Monday, beginning his eighth tour in the region since the beginning of the current war. Blinken’s visit comes as the U.S. seeks to achieve a ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel. He is scheduled to meet Egyptian, Qatari, and Israeli officials.

The U.S. proposal, which Washington claimed was designed by Israel itself, was announced by Joe Biden in late May, as Israel faces accusations of genocide, international arrest warrants against its Prime Minister and war minister, and unilateral recognitions of a Palestinian state by European countries. The international pressure on Netanyahu’s government has been coupled with internal protests and accusations of failure in achieving the war’s objectives.

In the early months of the current war, the U.S. rejected calls for a ceasefire and supported the continuation of the war, including by using its veto to block three draft resolutions calling for a ceasefire at the UN Security Council, allowing the death toll of the Israeli assault on Gaza to exceed 37,000 Palestinians, most of whom are civilians.

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