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    Israeli Minister Benny Gantz has resigned from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus emergency government.

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    Israeli Minister Benny Gantz has resigned from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus emergency government.
    • June 10, 2024 • 1 month ago
    in summary
    Israeli Minister Benny Gantz has resigned from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus emergency government, removing the centrist presence from Netanyahu's far-right coalition amid ongoing conflict in Gaza. Gantz stated his departure was due to Netanyahu hindering progress towards victory. Despite his resignation, the ruling right-wing coalition's parliamentary majority in the Knesset remains secure. Gantz called for early elections, emphasizing the need for a government that can gain public trust and effectively address challenges. He also stressed that protests against the government should be lawful and not incite hatred, pointing out that true enemies lie outside Israel's borders.

    Israeli Minister Benny Gantz has announced his resignation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s emergency government, withdrawing the only centrist power from the far-right coalition amid a protracted conflict in Gaza. Gantz's departure is driven by his belief that Netanyahu is obstructing progress toward a decisive victory. He emphasized his decision in a televised news conference , stating, “Netanyahu is preventing us from advancing toward true victory. That is why we are leaving the emergency government today, with a heavy heart but with full confidence.

    Despite Gantz's resignation, the ruling right-wing coalition’s parliamentary majority in the Knesset remains secure, with 64 seats out of 120. Netanyahu issued a brief statement urging Gantz not to "abandon the front." However, Gantz's departure is not expected to destabilize the coalition's majority.

    Gantz, seen as Netanyahu’s main political rival, was a leading figure in the opposition before joining the war cabinet. His resignation underscores the deepening political rifts within Israel’s government during a time of intense military activity in Gaza. Gantz has also called for early elections, suggesting that a new government capable of gaining public trust and addressing challenges effectively is necessary. “There should be elections that will eventually establish a government that will win the trust of the people and be able to face challenges,” Gantz stated. He urged Netanyahu to “set an agreed election date.”

    Benny Gantz was brought into this war cabinet … At the beginning, they showed a united front. These cracks started to appear throughout, and there was much speculation. Eventually, last month, he said that he gave the prime minister an ultimatum.

    Gantz's departure comes as Netanyahu’s government continues its ground and aerial bombardment campaign in Gaza, which has resulted in over 37,000 deaths since October 7, according to Gaza health officials. Gantz had previously threatened to leave the emergency government if Netanyahu failed to present a post-war plan for the besieged territory.

    Gantz also directed a call to Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant to “do what is right.” His exit from the government opens the floor for the most far-right ministers within Netanyahu’s coalition to potentially join the war cabinet. This includes figures like Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, whose party is now poised to play a more significant role.

    Smotrich reacted to Gantz’s resignation by criticizing the timing. “There is no act less stately than withdrawing from the government during a war,” he posted on X (formerly Twitter). He further remarked, “This is exactly what Yahya Sinwar, Hasan Nasrallah, and Iran were aiming for, and unfortunately, you are fulfilling their request,” referring to leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah.

    In his statement, Gantz also addressed the importance of lawful protests, stressing that while demonstrations against the government are crucial, they must not incite hatred. “The protests are important; however, they need to be conducted in a legal manner and they must not encourage hatred. We are not each other’s enemies. Our enemies are outside of our borders,” he emphasized.

    Gantz’s departure marks a significant shift in Israeli politics, potentially amplifying the influence of far-right elements within Netanyahu’s coalition while maintaining the coalition's parliamentary majority. The political landscape in Israel remains tense as the country continues its military operations in Gaza and grapples with internal dissent.

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