Israel-Hamas War – May 19, 2024 – Day 226

We present here a diary of reported news from Israel and elsewhere about the Israel-Hamas war of 2023/2024, known in Israel as Swords of Iron. Our sources include Kan Israeli radio/TV, the IDF Spokesman, Israeli Kan TV/radio service, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office on Twitter/X (@IsraeliPM) and other sources considered reliable…

Current situation:

  • Since our last update of April 7, 2024, little has changed. The combat in various locations in Gaza continues, friction continues on the Israel Lebanon border with Hezbollah and in Jenin on the West Bank. Rafah has seen limited combat and a partial evacuation of Gazans living there in temporary accommodation. An international coalition intercepted a large air attack by Iran on Israel. Protests for and against Israel have taken place in US and UK universities and elsewhere, including the Eurovision song contest in Malmo, Sweden.
  • Gantz ultimatum: War Cabinet minister Benny Gantz gave PM Netanyahu a June 8 deadline to overcome government paralysis and agree objectives, including:
    • 1. Return the hostages.
    • 2. Demolish Hamas and demilitarize the Gaza Strip.
    • 3. Provide an “American-European-Arab-Palestinian” governing alternative in the Strip that “is not Hamas and not [Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud] Abbas.”
    • 4. Return the residents of the North by September 1 and rehabilitate the western Negev.
    • 5. Promote normalization with Saudi Arabia as part of a general move that includes “a treaty with the free world and the Arab world against Iran.”
    • 6. Adopt an outline for creating a standardized Israeli national service in which all Israelis will “serve the country and contribute to the highest national effort.”
  • PM Netanyahu replied: rejecting the Gantz ultimatum saying it amounted to an end to the war and Israeli defeat, abandoning most of the hostages, leaving Hamas standing, and forming a Palestinian state. Other right wing Israeli politicians agreed, but commentators say they missed the point – Gantz did not propose to end the war but to plan for the aftermath.
  • Our comment: A Biblical economic precedent actually exists which all Israelis and others can and should sign up to – see:, or see our own version here:
  • UN: South Africa has again requested that the UN International Court of Justice re-open its claimed genocide case but apparently admits it lacks facts due to the war (Kan and others).
  • Bodies: Four deceased Israeli hostages’ bodies were returned from Gaza to Israel by the IDF after receiving intelligence regarding their whereabouts from Hamas prisoners (IDF and others).
  • Fake facts: A BBC report suggests the Gaza casualty figures are changeable and not reliable (
  • US election pressure: The Biden administration is delaying delivery of precision bombs to the Israeli Air Force in case they were to be used in Rafah (Biden on CNN and others). Comment: Doesn’t this prompt use of imprecise bombs? In practice Israel makes and uses tanks…
  • Comment – mood in Israel: Many Israelis from the North and South are still living away from home as evacuees. Many more in the North have not been evacuated as they protected by hills from Hezbollah missiles which have to fly high to get over the hills. Unfortunately, Hezbollah is now deploying drones which can loiter and hit anywhere. And Hamas has resumed its missile firings. So a war of attrition has begun and Israelis on the left and right assume the IDF will keep going, notwithstanding the upcoming US presidential election…
  • Iran: The Iranian President is missing following a difficult landing in a helicopter.