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Cabinet ministers Gallant, Gantz must be dismissed over Gaza war policy, Ben-Gvir says

May 20, 2024 at 9:30 am

Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir in Beersheba on April 25, 2023 [GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel’s far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, yesterday called for the immediate dismissal of two senior war cabinet ministers for challenging the government’s post-war policy in Gaza.

In an interview with the Ynet website, Ben-Gvir said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must immediately dismiss the leader of the National Unity Party and member of the war cabinet, Benny Gantz, as well as Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant.

Gantz, he said, “wants to lead with an old vision”, stressing that the ruling coalition government in Israel now is a right-wing government.

On Saturday, Gantz gave Netanyahu until 8 June to develop a strategic action plan regarding the war on Gaza aimed at returning Israeli prisoners of war held in the enclave, overthrowing the Hamas government, disarming the Gaza Strip, establishing an international administration to manage civilian affairs in the Strip, returning Israeli residents of northern settlements near Lebanon to their homes by 1 September, advancing normalisation talks with Saudi Arabia, and adopting a plan for all Israelis to serve in the army; including ultra-Orthodox Jews. In his statement, Gantz hinted that he would withdraw from the government if the premier failed to present the plan.

Responding to Gantz’s calls, Ben-Gvir insisted on that both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority-led Fatah movement should not rule Gaza, adding that the only future for the besieged enclave is to “reoccupy” it and launch a campaign to encourage voluntary migration of its Palestinian residents.

Read: Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir clash during cabinet meeting, Gallant leaves during Security minister speech

He also called for the establishment of illegal settlements in Gaza, claiming that without a Jewish presence there, “rockets” will continue to fall in Israel.

In an interview with Radio 103FM, Ben-Gvir said Gantz’s “concepts are old concepts, the old perception.”

The national security minister went on to demand the immediate dismissal of Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, tweeting that “from Gallant’s point of view, there is no difference between whether Gaza is controlled by IDF soldiers or whether Hamas murderers control it.”

“Such a defence minister must be replaced in order to achieve the goals of the war,” Ben-Gvir insisted.

Fellow far-far Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, also demanded Gallant be removed from his post if he does not support ruling out the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority’s involvement in Gaza’s post-war governance.

“Defence Minister Gallant today announced his support for the establishment of a Palestinian terrorist state as a reward for terrorism. A government in which we are members will not… establish a Palestinian state and will not endanger the existence of the state of Israel,” he added.