Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz quits emergency government

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz has quit the emergency government in a sign of deepening divisions over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s post-conflict plans for Gaza, the BBC reports.

Speaking during a news conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday where he announced his resignation, Mr Gantz said the decision was made with a “heavy heart.”

“Unfortunately, Mr Netanyahu is preventing us from approaching true victory, which is the justification for the painful ongoing crisis,” he said.

Considered by some to be a potential challenger for power in Israel, Mr Gantz called on Mr Netanyahu to set a date for elections.

Mr Netanyahu responded with a post on X: “Benny, this is not the time to quit the campaign, this is the time to join forces.”

Mr Gantz is a political rival of Mr Netanyahu and a former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

His centrist National Unity party was in opposition until 11 October 2023 when, after the start of the war following Hamas’s 7 October attacks, he agreed to form an emergency government with Mr Netanyahu.

National Unity holds five posts in the emergency government.

Current opposition leader Yair Lapid backed Mr Gantz’s decision as “important and right” on social media.

Immediately after the announcement, far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir demanded a place in the war cabinet.

Mr Ben-Gvir is part of a right-wing coalition that has threatened to quit and collapse the government if Israel accepts a ceasefire proposal put forward by US President Joe Biden.

Show More
Back to top button