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Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz resigns from government over lack of plan for post-war Gaza

A member of Israel's three-member war cabinet announced his resignation on Sunday over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of the war in Gaza.

Benny Gantz, a popular former centrist military chief and one of the prime minister's most prominent critics, joined Netanyahu's government shortly after the Hamas attack on October 7, a show of unity. His presence also boosted Israel's credibility with the country's international partners as he has a good working relationship with US officials.

Gantz said Netanyahu was making “complete victory impossible” and that the government must put the return of hostages taken by Hamas on 7 October “above political survival”.

“So we are leaving the emergency government today, with a heavy heart, but with full confidence,” Gantz said in a televised news conference.

israel palestinian gantz
Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Israel's three-member war cabinet, delivers a statement in Ramat Gan, Israel, Sunday, June 9, 2024.

Ohad Zweigenberg/AP

Gantz also called for new elections this autumn that would “ultimately lead to a government that wins the people's trust and is able to face the challenges.”

He also encouraged the third member of the war cabinet, Defense Minister Yoav Galant, to “do the right thing” and resign from the government. Galant had previously said he would resign if Israel decided to reoccupy Gaza, and encouraged the government to plan for a Palestinian administration.

On Saturday, Netanyahu urged Gantz not to abandon the emergency wartime government.

He appealed directly to Gantz, saying, “This is a time for unity, not division.”

While his departure poses no immediate threat to Netanyahu, who still controls a majority coalition in parliament, it has forced the Israeli leader to rely more heavily on his far-right allies.

Gantz last month Threatened to leave the government by 8 June If the company does not adopt the new plan, it will be given three weeks' time.

At the time, Gantz presented a six-point plan that included return of several hostagesEnding Hamas rule, demilitarizing the Gaza Strip and establishing an international administration for civilian affairs. The plan also supports efforts to normalize relations with the US. Saudi Arab,

He cancelled a press conference scheduled for Saturday night. Earlier in the day, four Israeli hostages were dramatically rescued from Gaza. At least 274 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more wounded in the attack, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry. The Israeli military said its forces came under heavy fire during the complex daytime operation and that “at least 100” Palestinians were killed, though it was unclear how many of them were militants or civilians.

This is breaking news. Keep checking back for updates.


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