Israeli War Cabinet Member Benny Gantz Resigns

One of the three members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ‘War Cabinet’ with voting power, Benny Gantz, has officially announced his and his party’s resignation from the war cabinet, and Netanyahu’s emergency government.

The Threat of Resignation

Gantz had previously delivered an ultimatum to Netanyahu, stating that he would resign on June 8th due to disagreements on what a post-war Gaza should look like, with Gantz calling for the establishment of an alternative government within Gaza, whereas Netanyahu has called for Israel to establish its own security over the strip.

Gantz delayed the decision one day due to the news of the Israeli rescue of four hostages from the Nuseirat camp in the Gaza Strip, an operation that Gazan authorities claim led to the deaths of over 270 Palestinians.

Following this operation, Netanyahu had urged Gantz not to follow through on his resignation threat.

“We must remain united within ourselves in the face of the great tasks before us. I call on Benny Gantz – do not leave the emergency government. Don’t give up on unity” -Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Upon delivering his resignation, Gantz stated that “Netanyahu prevents us from moving forward to a real victory [in Gaza],” adding “that is why we are leaving the emergency government today with a heavy heart, but with a whole heart.”

Gantz’ centrist party was not a part of Netanyahu’s political coalition in the Israeli Knesset, and so their resignation does not particularly harm Netanyahu’s standing there, however this does mean that both members of the war cabinet that retain decision making power, Netanyahu himself and Israeli Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant, belong to the same party, Netanyahu’s Likud.

This ensures the Likud’s dominance of war decisions.

Gantz’ Demands

As stated, one of Gantz’ key demands towards Netanyahu was that in a post-war setting in Gaza, an alternative government is established.

Netanyahu has referred to this idea as a threat to Israel, and has been insistent that Israel should maintain its own security over Gaza after the war. Notably, Netanyahu’s plan regarding this matter is also opposed by the US, who has stated their wishes for a reformed Palestinian Authority to hold jurisdiction over Gaza, and lay down the foundations for the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state. Netanyahu further opposes the establishment of such a state.

Beyond this, Gantz has also called for early elections to be held. Gantz called for elections to be held in September, notedly one month before the one year mark for the present Israel-Gaza war, claiming that “Israeli society needs to renew its contract with its leadership.”

Besides these two key aspects, Gantz’ demands for the return of hostages, destruction of Hamas, and the return of displaced Israeli civilians from the north of Israel largely aligned with Netanyahu, though there are likely disagreements between the two on how to get there, and Gantz called upon Netanyahu to outline a plan on how these three things will be achieved.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.

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