June 14th, 2024

Centrist Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war Cabinet, resigns over lack of plans for postwar Gaza

By Melanie Lidman, The Associated Press on June 9, 2024.

Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Israel's three-member War Cabinet delivers a statement in Ramat Gan, Israel, Sunday, June 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg

JERUSALEM (AP) – Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Israel’s three-man war Cabinet, announced his resignation on Sunday.

The move does not immediately pose a threat to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who still controls a majority coalition in parliament. But the Israeli leader becomes more heavily reliant on his far-right allies.

Gantz said that Netanyahu is making “total victory impossible” and that the government needs to put the return of the hostages seized Oct. 7 by Hamas “above political survival.”

The popular former military chief joined Netanyahu’s government shortly after the Hamas attack in a show of unity. His presence also boosted Israel’s credibility with its international partners. Gantz has good working relations with U.S. officials.

Gantz had previously said he would leave the government by June 8 if Netanyahu did not formulate a new plan for postwar Gaza.

He scrapped a planned news conference Saturday night after four Israelihostages were dramatically rescued from Gaza earlier in the day in Israel’s largest such operation since the eight-month war began. At least 274 Palestinians, including children, were killed in the assault, Gaza health officials said.

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