Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Gantz Resigns from Israeli War Cabinet, Citing Netanyahu's Handling of Gaza Conflict

Main image to the post Gantz Resigns from Israeli War Cabinet, Citing Netanyahu's Handling of Gaza Conflict

Benny Gantz, a member of Israel's three-person war cabinet, announced his resignation on Sunday. He argued that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's actions have made "total victory impossible" in Gaza and that the return of an estimated 120 hostages should be prioritized over "political survival."

Gantz stated in a televised statement that Netanyahu is preventing progress towards a "real victory" in Gaza. He described the decision to resign as "complex and painful," leaving him with a "heavy heart." He also called for early elections to establish a government that can "win the trust of the people and be able to face challenges."

In response, the Israeli Prime Minister urged Gantz to remain in the emergency coalition, emphasizing the need for unity during this time. He wrote on X, "This is the time for unity and not for division. 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."

Gantz, a centrist former military leader and opposition leader, had previously threatened to resign by June 8 unless Netanyahu presented a new plan for ending the war. This plan would include the return of hostages, the removal of Hamas from power, and the establishment of peace and security in Gaza with Palestinian and international cooperation.

He briefly postponed his announcement after Israel successfully rescued four hostages from Hamas in a dramatic operation. However, the resignation still proceeded, leaving the war cabinet without any members from an opposition party.

While the resignation does not affect Netanyahu's governing coalition, which retains a majority in the Knesset, it adds to the growing pressure on Netanyahu to end the war. Tens of thousands of Israelis have been protesting, demanding the immediate return of hostages and a ceasefire.

Meanwhile, members of Netanyahu's right-wing coalition have threatened to withdraw their support if he accepts a ceasefire proposal publicly advocated by the White House. This proposal involves a three-stage agreement including a ceasefire, a prisoner swap, and the withdrawal of some Israeli military forces in Gaza.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09