• D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG
  • D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
Semafor Logo
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG

Updated Jul 4, 2024, 8:38am EDT
Middle East
icon

Semafor Signals

Hamas and Israeli generals appear keener on Gaza truce than Netanyahu’s government

Insights from The Times of Israel, Haaretz, and the Middle East Institute

Arrow Down
Aftermath of an Israeli strike in Khan Younis. Mohammed Salem/Reuters
PostEmailWhatsapp
Title icon

The News

Rifts between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country’s military leadership appear to be widening as top generals agitate for a truce in Gaza amid escalating tensions with Hezbollah.

The generals “believe they can always go back and engage Hamas militarily another time,” Israel’s former national security adviser told The New York Times. He added that a pause in fighting could make de-escalation with Hezbollah in Lebanon more likely, while simultaneously giving the army a chance to prepare for a potential all-out war.

AD

Hezbollah fired more than 200 rockets at northern Israel on Thursday, in retaliation for an Israeli air strike that killed one of its senior commanders. The Israeli military said it was responding with strikes in Lebanon.

Separately, Hamas said that it had presented a new ceasefire proposal to Egyptian and Qatari negotiators that Netanyahu’s cabinet is scheduled to discuss today, Al Jazeera reported.

icon

SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Netanyahu may fear that generals are conspiring with the US against him

Source icon
Sources:  
The Times of Israel, Haaretz

Netanyahu has blasted the “anonymous sources” who briefed The New York Times, saying he was “unequivocally clear” that the war would end only with the elimination of Hamas, while the Israel Defense Forces put out a similar statement, The Times of Israel reported. Splits between Netanyahu and IDF top brass since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks are nothing new, but his direct rebuttal of the Times’ report may reflect a growing paranoia about the emergence of an “axis” between generals and US officials, with Netanyahu seeing the outlet as a “mouthpiece” of the Biden administration, a columnist argued in Haaretz. Netanyahu’s decision to visit Congress in three weeks’ time even while Israel is on the brink of war with Hezbollah could be an attempt to break that perceived siege on his authority, he added.

Tensions between Netanyahu and Israel’s security establishment go way back

Source icon
Source:  
Middle East Institute

While Netanyahu’s self-stylized “Mr. Security” image was shattered by Oct. 7, Israel’s military and intelligence officials have long considered him a liability on issues ranging from corruption to the Iranian nuclear program, a professor of international relations at the Middle East Institute argued: The national security community “by and large” supports robust democratic institutions and a two-state solution with Palestinians, priorities that Netanyahu has been apt to frustrate, and is eager to see the back of him.

Semafor Logo
AD