Netanyahu War Cabinet Minister Threatens to Pull His Party From Israel's Government Over Gaza Strategy

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

On Saturday, as documented in the Jerusalem Post, a Minister in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's War Cabinet has laid an ultimatum at Netanyahu's feet over the government's handling of the offense against Hamas terrorists in Gaza:


In a move likely to increase the already high political tension at the highest levels of Israel's government, Minister-without-portfolio Benny Gantz gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a deadline until June 8 to agree to a comprehensive strategic plan for the 'day after' Hamas in Gaza, and threatened to leave the government if this did not happen.

"Lately, something has gone wrong," Gantz said. "Essential decisions were not made. Essential leadership decisions to ensure victory were not done. A small minority has taken over the command bridge of the Israeli ship of state and is steering her toward the rocks," Gantz said, referring to Netanyahu's far-right political partners, who repeatedly threatened in recent weeks that they would bring down the government if he made concessions that Gantz supported.

"Personal and political considerations have infiltrated the holy of holies of Israeli security," Gantz said.

Background: Israeli War Cabinet Minister Hits Those Demanding 'Ceasefire' With a Blunt Truth

Gantz proceeded to lay down specifics in a speech, as the Post article noted:

Gantz listed six objectives that Netanyahu must adopt or face his withdrawal from government:

  1. The return of the hostages
  2. The demobilization of Hamas and the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip
  3. Determining an "American-European-Arab-Palestinian" governing alternative in the Strip that "is not Hamas and not [Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud] Abbas"
  4. The return of the residents of the north by September 1, and rehabilitation of the western Negev
  5. Promoting normalization with Saudi Arabia, as part of a general move that includes "a treaty with the free world and the Arab world against Iran"
  6. Adopting an outline for creating a standardized Israeli national service, in which all Israelis will "serve the country and contribute to the highest national effort"

"If you choose to lead the nation to the abyss, we will withdraw from the government, turn to the people, and form a government that can bring about a real victory," Gantz said.


Netanyahu's office issued a reply:

The prime minister's office put out a response an hour after Gantz finished speaking.

"While our heroic soldiers are fighting to destroy Hamas' battalions in Rafah, Gantz chooses to set an ultimatum for the prime minister instead of setting an ultimatum for Hamas. The conditions that Benny Gantz set are empty words whose meaning is clear: an end to the war and Israeli defeat, abandoning most of the hostages, leaving Hamas standing, and forming a Palestinian state. Our soldiers did not fall for nothing, and especially not to replace Hamastan with Fatahstan," the prime minister's office said.

See Related: FINALLY: Despite Hamas' Last-Minute Subterfuge, Israel War Cabinet Greenlights Rafah Operation

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It's unclear why the Minister chose this moment, in the middle of a conflict, to issue such an ultimatum. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) appear to be working towards the military goals mentioned already: Return of all hostages, and destruction of Hamas, which would presumably (and necessarily) be followed by a demilitarization of Gaza.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has also criticized the Prime Minister's handling of the conflict. Gallant has objected to, among other things, any plan to set up a military government in Gaza. PM Netanyahu has made the destruction of Hamas a primary goal of the IDF's operation, along with the denial of any involvement of the Palestinian Authority in governing a post-war Gaza.


As this is a developing story, RedState will provide updates as they become available.


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