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Israeli minister threatens to topple Netanyahu if Rafah not attacked

April 8, 2024 at 1:57 pm

Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir on February 22, 2024 [Saeed Qaq/Anadolu via Getty Images]

Israel’s National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, today threatened to topple the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he ends the war in the Gaza Strip without launching an offensive on the southern city of Rafah.

“If the prime minister decides to end the war without an extensive attack on Rafah in order to defeat Hamas, he will not have a mandate to continue serving as prime minister,” the far-right politician wrote on X.

Ben-Gvir’s threat comes amid reports of a possible breakthrough in Israel’s indirect negotiations with Hamas to reach a prisoner exchange deal and a ceasefire.

Despite global outcry over the catastrophic situation in the Palestinian enclave, the Israeli premier has long expressed his intention to attack Rafah, where over 1.5 million refugees have taken refuge.

Netanyahu’s ruling coalition holds 64 seats in the 120-member Knesset. Apart from member of his own Likud Party, the coalition includes two far-right parties led by Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, who have a combined 13 seats. Sixty-one seats are needed for a majority government.

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