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Israel: Ben-Gvir demands to join war cabinet

June 10, 2024 at 10:34 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (L) [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to include him in the country’s war cabinet. His request follows the resignation from the cabinet of State Camp official Benny Gantz and his party colleague Gadi Eisenkot at the weekend.

Ben-Gvir described the State Camp members as the ministers of the security vision that led to the Israeli defeat during the Hamas-led cross-border incursion on 7 October last year. Gantz’s party joined Netanyahu’s “emergency” government on 11 October. The war cabinet included Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, Gantz and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer. Eisenkot attended as an observer.

READ: Gantz announces resignation from Israeli war cabinet

According to Ben-Gvir’s office, he sent a letter to Netanyahu after the resignation of Ministers Gantz and Eisenkot in which he said: “With the outbreak of war, and as part of the necessary moves to unify ranks, the State Camp party was included in the coalition. This step was taken with our full support out of national responsibility. Unfortunately, ugly steps were also added to the unity step, which was the deadline set by the State Camp to form a mini-cabinet, and the exclusion of parties in the coalition and senior ministers, including the undersigned [Ben-Gvir].”

He added that, “In the spirit of that national responsibility, and despite the difficult ideological differences with the views of Gantz and Eisenkot, which are considered dangerous in our view, we have overlooked this.”

Describing the mini-cabinet as “the cabinet of the defeatist views,” the far-right extremist pointed out that senior ministers in the government have been removed and excluded. “We will not allow this to continue, and now with the retirement of the ministers of the defeatist vision, there is no longer any justification for rejecting and excluding the partners and senior ministers. As a government minister, head of a party, and a senior partner in the coalition, I request to join this cabinet, in order to be a partner in determining Israel’s security policy at the current stage. The time has come to make courageous and decisive decisions.”

READ: Ben-Gvir: No prisoner exchange deal currently on the table