The Latest | Netanyahu dissolves War Cabinet that was steering war in Gaza, Israeli officials say

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Israeli officials say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the influential War Cabinet that was tasked with steering the war in Gaza.

The War Cabinet was dissolved following the departure from the government of Benny Gantz, an opposition lawmaker who had joined the coalition in the early days of the war. He had demanded that a small Cabinet be formed as a way to sideline far-right lawmakers in Netanyahu’s government. Gantz, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant were its members and they made key decisions together throughout the war.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the change with the media, said Monday that going forward Netanyahu would hold smaller forums with some of his government members for sensitive issues.

Gantz, a longtime political rival of Netanyahu’s, joined the government as a show of unity after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel. He left the government earlier this month, citing frustration with Netanyahu’s handling of the war.

Critics say Netanyahu’s wartime decision-making has been influenced by ultranationalists in his government who oppose a deal that would bring about a cease-fire in exchange for the release of hostages. They have voiced support for the “voluntary migration” of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and reoccupying the territory.

Netanyahu denies the accusations and says he has the country’s best interests in mind.

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has killed more than 37,100 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

Israel launched the war after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250.

Currently:

— The war in Gaza is wiping out entire Palestinian families, one branch at a time. This is how

— The war in Gaza has wiped out entire Palestinian families. AP documents 60 who lost dozens or more

— Israel’s army says it will pause daytime fighting along a route in southern Gaza to help flow of aid

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

US aircraft carrier counters false Houthi claims with ‘Taco Tuesdays’ as deployment stretches on

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Here’s the latest:

Israel says UN yet to ‘take full advantage’ of new aid route into Gaza

KEREM SHALOM CROSSING, Israel — Israel said Monday the United Nations, the main aid provider in war-ravaged Gaza, is yet to “take full advantage” of a new route meant to ease the flow of aid into the enclave.

The military announced on Sunday a “tactical pause” in daytime fighting along roads leading from a main goods crossing to a north-south highway. The route is meant to help address a backlog of aid waiting for pickup on the Gaza side of the crossing.

“We have not seen the U.N. take full advantage of this step,” said Shimon Freedman, a spokesman for COGAT, an Israeli defense body that oversees aid distribution in Gaza. Freedman was speaking at a briefing for reporters at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the U.N. humanitarian office, said workers on the ground were unable to use the route on Sunday, blaming a breakdown in law and order in the territory.

At the Israeli briefing, officials did not say how many trucks had made use of the route.

Freedman said the route would have military presence and Israeli military spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Israel would “make sure the road is safe.”

Israeli authorities have continually said the lack of aid reaching desperate Palestinians in Gaza is due to the failure of the U.N. to distribute supplies within the war-stricken territory. Meanwhile, the U.N. has blamed Israel for enforcing unnecessary and drawn-out inspection procedures at the crossing, and said that fighting in Gaza, along with violence and truck looting, has hampered their distribution efforts.

Freedman said there were more than 1,000 trucks on the Gaza side of the crossing waiting to be picked up for delivery.

Israeli officials say Netanyahu has dissolved influential War Cabinet

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israeli officials say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the influential War Cabinet that was tasked with steering the war in Gaza.

The War Cabinet was dissolved following the departure from the government of Benny Gantz, an opposition lawmaker who had joined the coalition in the early days of the war. He had demanded that a small Cabinet be formed as a way to sideline far-right lawmakers in Netanyahu’s government. Gantz, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant were its members and they made key decisions together throughout the war.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the change with the media, said Monday that going forward, Netanyahu would hold smaller forums with some of his government members for sensitive issues.

Gantz, a longtime political rival of Netanyahu’s, joined the government as a show of unity after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel. He left the government earlier this month, citing frustration with Netanyahu’s handling of the war.

Critics say Netanyahu’s wartime decision-making has been influenced by ultranationalists in his government who oppose a deal that would bring about a cease-fire in exchange for the release of hostages. They have voiced support for “voluntary migration” of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and reoccupying the territory.

Netanyahu denies the accusations and says he has the country’s best interests in mind.

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Associated Press writer Tia Goldenberg contributed to this report from Tel Aviv, Israel.

Major defense industry show near Paris says a French court has banned Israeli exhibitors from participating

VILLEPINTE, France — A major defense and security industry show outside Paris says a French court has banned Israeli exhibitors from participating.

Event organizers said in a press release posted at the entrance of the Eurosatory exhibition, seen Monday by Associated Press journalists, that the court order issued Friday prohibited “the participation of employees or representatives, of any nationality whatsoever, of Israeli companies” in the show.

“In addition, all exhibiting companies are prohibited from receiving, selling or promoting Israeli weapons,” the press release said. It also said exhibitors cannot act as intermediaries at the show for Israeli companies “in any way whatsoever.”

It did not say what motivated the court’s decision. But it said the ruling came on the heels of a French government decision two weeks ago to prohibit Israeli companies from exhibiting at the show “in the current context.”

The event organizers said they’ll appeal the court decision “as soon as possible.” The Eurosatory exhibition, held every two years at Villepinte northeast of Paris, opened Monday and runs to Friday.

Israeli army says it will pause daytime fighting along a route in southern Gaza

JERUSALEM — Israel’s military announced on Sunday that it would pause fighting during daytime hours along a route in southern Gaza to free up a backlog of humanitarian aid deliveries for desperate Palestinians enduring a humanitarian crisis sparked by the war, now in its ninth month.

The “tactical pause,” which applies to about 12 kilometers (7½ miles) of road in the Rafah area, falls far short of a complete cease-fire in the territory that has been sought by the international community, including Israel’s top ally, the United States. It could help address the overwhelming needs of Palestinians that have surged in recent weeks with Israel’s incursion into Rafah.

The army said that the daily pause would begin at 8 a.m. and last until 7 p.m. and continue until further notice. It’s aimed at allowing aid trucks to reach the nearby Israel-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing, the main entry point, and travel safely to the Salah a-Din highway, a main north-south road, the military said. The crossing has had a bottleneck since Israeli ground troops moved into Rafah in early May.

COGAT, the Israeli military body that oversees aid distribution in Gaza, said the route would increase the flow of aid to other parts of Gaza, including Khan Younis, the coastal area of Muwasi and central Gaza. Hard-hit northern Gaza, an early target in the war, is served by goods entering from the north.

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