Benny Gantz has served in the war cabinet since the beginning of the conflict with Hamas; the statement deepens Netanyahu’s isolation

Israel’s war cabinet minister, Benny Gantz, said on Saturday (May 18, 2024), in a televised speech, that he will leave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition if the government does not approve a post-war plan for the Strip of Gaza until June 8th.

If we choose the path of the fanatics and lead the entire nation into the abyss, we will be forced to resign from the government“, he said. From the opposition, Gantz joined Netanyahu’s coalition and the war cabinet at the beginning of the conflict, in a gesture of national unity.

In his statement, the minister cited 6 points that, according to him, need to be resolved by the government. Are they:

  • the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas since the October 7 attack last year that started the war;
  • the end of Hamas rule in Gaza and the demilitarization of the region;
  • the establishment of an international administration in Gaza, with the participation of North Americans, Europeans, Arabs and Palestinians;
  • the authorization for residents of northern Gaza to return to their homes by September 1;
  • advancing efforts to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia; It is
  • the expansion of military service to all Israelis.

Gantz’s ultimatum followed a similar move made this week by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. The military officer said he would not remain in office if Israel decided to reoccupy the Gaza Strip. He also demanded that the government define how the region will be administered post-war.

In addition to internal tension, Netanyahu faces pressure from the international community. Allied countries are calling on Israel not to launch a broader military offensive on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinian civilians displaced by the war are sheltering.

At the same time, the latest negotiations seeking a ceasefire, mediated by Qatar, the United States and Egypt, did not make any progress.

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