Israel’s Gantz Sets June 8 Deadline for Gaza Plan, Threatens Cabinet Resignation

Israel’s Gantz Sets June 8 Deadline for Gaza Plan, Threatens Cabinet Resignation

by Reuters News Service
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Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz demanded on Saturday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commit to a clear vision for the Gaza conflict, which would include specifying who might govern the territory after the war with Hamas.

At a press conference, Gantz called for the war cabinet to establish a six-point plan by June 8. He warned that if his expectations are not met, he will withdraw his centrist party from the conservative premier’s expanded emergency coalition.

Gantz, a retired top Israeli general and Netanyahu’s most formidable political rival according to opinion polls, did not specify a date for the potential withdrawal. However, his ultimatum could add pressure on an already strained wartime government.

Netanyahu appears to be outmaneuvered within his own inner war cabinet, where only he, Gantz, and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant have voting power. On Wednesday, Gallant demanded clarity on post-war plans and urged Netanyahu to renounce any military reoccupation of Gaza.

Acceding to this demand would risk alienating ultra-nationalist coalition parties that advocate for Gaza’s annexation and settlement. Losing their support could destabilize Netanyahu’s position, especially as he failed to form a broader coalition before the war due to ongoing corruption charges he denies.

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

Gantz’s proposed six-point plan includes establishing a temporary civil administration for Gaza, involving U.S., European, Arab, and Palestinian representatives, while Israel maintains security control. It also calls for equitable national service for all Israelis, including ultra-Orthodox Jews who are currently exempt from military draft, a status that two of Netanyahu’s coalition parties are determined to preserve.

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