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Daily Briefing Feb. 29: Day 146 – Sinwar claims Hamas is winning the war. Here’s why

Editor David Horovitz on the similar but opposite victory narratives of Hamas and Israel, more efforts to stir up Temple Mount trouble during Ramadan, and Haredi military conscription

Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 20-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world.

Today is Day 146 of the war with Hamas. Editor David Horovitz joins host Amanda Borschel-Dan for today’s episode.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar believes that Hamas is winning the war it started against Israel on October 7, telling senior Hamas officials in Qatar that his ruling terror group “has the Israelis right where we want them.” Horovitz weighs in.

On Wednesday, in a televised speech, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank to march to Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray on the first day of Ramadan on March 10, during the war in Gaza, seemingly seeking to raise tensions in the area. At the same time, Israel’s war cabinet has reportedly ruled that National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir won’t be able to bar Arab Israelis from worshiping at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount on Ramadan. What may happen at this flashpoint site?

Yesterday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called for an end to military draft exemptions for members of the ultra-Orthodox community, and said he would only back legislation settling the matter if it is endorsed by centrist ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot. Horovitz explains how the clock is ticking for new efforts to conscription “all Israelis.”

In total, 3,511,758 out of 7,100,390 eligible voters cast ballots, down from 56% during the previous municipal elections in 2018, according to data provided by the Interior Ministry. It seems Haredi Israelis turned out in high numbers, while Jerusalem Arabs largely boycotted. Horovitz breaks down some of the numbers.

For the latest updates, please look at The Times of Israel’s ongoing live blog.

Discussed articles include:

Live blog February 29, 2024

Gallant says no Haredi draft bill without centrist support, risking coalition crisis

Report: War cabinet sidelines Ben Gvir, rejects Ramadan Al Aqsa limits on Arab Israelis

Hamas chief claims flexibility in truce talks, calls for Ramadan march on Jerusalem

Half of Israel stays away from democracy * Friction helps Biden and the PM * SIMs signs

THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Civilians and soldiers killed in Hamas’s onslaught on Israel

THOSE WE ARE MISSING: The hostages and victims whose fate is still unknown

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