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Israel Pauses Daytime Offensive in Part of Gaza, Raising Hopes for More Aid

WorldIsrael Pauses Daytime Offensive in Part of Gaza, Raising Hopes for More Aid

The Israeli military said on Monday that it had paused operations during daylight hours in parts of the southern Gaza Strip, as a new policy announced a day earlier appeared to take hold, along with cautious hopes that it would allow more food and other goods to reach desperate civilians.

Aid workers said they hoped that the daily pause in the Israeli offensive would make it less dangerous to deliver vital supplies to areas in central and southern Gaza from Kerem Shalom, a key border crossing between Israel and Gaza, removing one of many obstacles to their beleaguered operations.

But aid agencies warned that other restrictions on movement, as well as lawlessness in the territory, would still make it difficult to meet the dire needs of Gazans struggling to survive after eight months of war.

With stockpiles in southern Gaza dwindling, “maybe for a couple of weeks they’ll have enough food, but if we cannot have access and sustain that, then that’s going to be a big problem,” said Carl Skau, the deputy director of the World Food Program, an arm of the United Nations that distributes food in Gaza. Food supplies in southern Gaza were “more stabilized a month ago, but we are really concerned now,” said Mr. Skau, who visited Gaza last week.

The shift in Israeli operations came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disbanded the war cabinet he had formed after the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks, an Israeli official said on Monday, highlighting the strains within his government over the future of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

The official characterized Mr. Netanyahu’s decision as a largely symbolic move after two of the five members of the war cabinet, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, quit last week amid disagreements over the direction of the war. The men, both former military chiefs, are prominent members of the centrist opposition in Parliament to the right-wing government.

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