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Israel’s Gantz threatens to leave Netanyahu’s government

May 19, 2024 at 9:59 am

Former Minister of Defence, and government and war cabinet member, Benny Gantz attends a meeting with the press in Ramot Naftali, Israel on October 29, 2023 [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Israeli War Cabinet Member Benny Gantz said Saturday that a comprehensive plan must be formulated by June 8 or he will leave Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government, Anadolu Agency reports.

The plan must include “undermining Hamas’s rule and securing the release of the captives held in the Gaza Strip,” he said at a news conference.

“A strategic shift is required, not a waste of time. We need to establish an alternative national strategy,” he added.

Gantz urged Israel “to create an international civilian governance mechanism for Gaza, including American, European, Arab and Palestinian elements — which will also serve as a basis for a future alternative that is not Hamas and is not (Palestinian Authority President) Abbas.”

“The time has come for decisive decisions,” and addressed Netanyahu, saying, “If you are ready to do what is necessary by prioritising the national path over the personal one, we will proceed together. If you prefer the personal path, we will leave the government.”

“Personal and political considerations have begun to penetrate the Holy of Holies of Israel’s national security,” said Gantz. “A small minority has seized the bridge of the Israeli ship and is piloting it toward the rocky shoal.”

Netanyahu’s office said in response that Gantz’s demands would mean “an end to the war and defeat for Israel, abandoning the majority of the hostages, leaving Hamas in power, and creating a Palestinian state.”

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is determined to eliminate the Hamas battalions,” it said, “He opposes bringing the Palestinian Authority into Gaza, and establishing a Palestinian state that will inevitably be a terror state.”

Israel continued its brutal offensive on Gaza despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of “genocide” at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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