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Gaza war: Benny Gantz threatens to leave the Israeli government

Gaza war: Benny Gantz threatens to leave the Israeli government

Gantz gives Netanyahu an ultimatum. The prime minister must present a plan for a post-war order by June 8th. Otherwise he will resign from the government. Netanyahu reacts angrily.

Benny Gantz, a minister in Israel’s war cabinet, has threatened to quit the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. If the head of government does not present a plan for the post-war order in the Gaza Strip by June 8th, he and other members of his National Union party would leave the cabinet, said the politician in Tel Aviv. Netanyahu immediately accused Gantz of giving the prime minister an ultimatum – instead of the Islamist Hamas.

Gantz joined Netanyahu’s government as a minister without portfolio and a member of the war cabinet following the unprecedented attack by Hamas and other terrorist groups on October 7. In doing so, those involved wanted to send a signal of unity. The center party National Union, led by Gantz, is in opposition. In opinion polls, she is currently well ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud party.

According to media reports, Gantz also said that something had gone wrong recently. Important leadership decisions to ensure victory were not made. “A small minority has taken over the command bridge of the Israeli ship of state and is steering it towards the cliffs,” said Gantz, referring to Netanyahu’s right-wing extremist coalition partners, who had recently threatened to end the government. “Personal and political considerations have invaded the inner sanctum of Israeli security.”

Among other things, Gantz called for the establishment of an American-European-Arab-Palestinian government alternative in the Gaza Strip; under no circumstances could this be Hamas or Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In addition, the hostages must return from Gaza and relations with Saudi Arabia must be normalized. Gantz also called for a concept for military service for all Israelis to be adopted. “Prime Minister Netanyahu, I look you in the eyes this evening and say – the choice is in your hands.”

Netanyahu rejects demands

Netanyahu’s office said Gantz’s demands would mean a defeat for Israel, the surrender of the majority of hostages, Hamas remaining in power and the creation of a Palestinian state, according to media reports. Netanyahu believes an emergency government is important to achieve all war goals, including the return of all hostages.

The attack by Hamas and other terrorist groups, which killed 1,200 people and kidnapped another 250 into the Gaza Strip, sparked the Gaza War. Israel responded with massive air strikes and a ground offensive. However, Israel has now come under international criticism because of the high number of civilian casualties and the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Many in the country complain that the war has not brought a decisive victory, even after more than seven months. The fact that more than 100 hostages are still in the hands of Hamas is also causing criticism of the government.

Netanyahu has been in power since the end of 2022 together with right-wing extremist and ultra-religious parties. So far, he has refused to present a plan for the administration and reconstruction of the Gaza Strip after the end of the war in order not to offend his ultra-right coalition partners. They pursue unrealistic goals such as building Jewish settlements in Gaza, but Netanyahu’s political survival depends on them. If Gantz were to carry out his threat and leave the government, it could provoke a government crisis.

Source: Stern

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