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Netanyahu Rival Quits With Dissolution Hopes

ADH Staff WriterJune 10, 2024

A centrist member of Israel’s war cabinet, Benny Gantz, resigned from the government on Sunday, criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the war in Gaza.

This resignation followed a daring Israeli commando mission that rescued four hostages from Gaza, a move that may complicate ongoing efforts to end the conflict and secure the release of remaining captives.

Gantz accused Netanyahu of political hesitancy and procrastination, stating that crucial strategic decisions were stalled due to political considerations.

Gantz, who joined the government from the opposition to unify the country after the October 7 Hamas attacks, has been a moderate voice in the war cabinet, often communicating with U.S. officials. His departure is expected to fuel antigovernment protests and demands for early elections.

Netanyahu responded by urging Gantz to remain in the government, emphasizing the need for unity during the conflict.

Analysts suggest that Gantz’s exit could lead to the inclusion of more hard-line lawmakers in the government, potentially affecting the ongoing negotiations and Israel’s strategic decisions in Gaza.

The Israeli commando operation on Saturday successfully rescued four hostages from Nuseirat, but resulted in significant Palestinian casualties, raising tensions and potentially hardening positions on both sides.

Hamas has reiterated its demand for a permanent ceasefire and has refused to disarm, complicating negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the U.S.

The Biden administration continues to push for a ceasefire and a broader deal to resolve the conflict, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expected to visit the Middle East to invigorate these efforts.

The Israeli government maintains that military pressure is essential to force Hamas to agree to terms that would end the group’s control over Gaza and ensure the safety of Israeli citizens.

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