Netanyahu disbands war cabinet amid strains with partners over Gaza impasse

Demonstrators hold signs and pictures of hostages near a fire during a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, and calling for the release of hostages held in Gaza by Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Photo/AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the six-member war cabinet, an Israeli official said, in a widely expected move that came after the departure from government of the centrist former general Benny Gantz.

Netanyahu is now expected to hold consultations about the Gaza war with a small group of ministers, including Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer who had been in the war cabinet.

The prime minister had faced demands from the nationalist-religious partners in his coalition, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, to be included in the war cabinet, a move which would have intensified strains with international partners including the United States.

The forum was formed after Gantz joined Netanyahu in a national unity government at the start of the war in October and also included Gantz's partner Gadi Eisenkot and Aryeh Deri, head of the religious party Shas, as observers.

Gantz and Eisenkot both left the government last week, over what they said was Netanyahu's failure to form a strategy for the Gaza war.

Critics say Netanyahu’s wartime decision-making has been influenced by ultranationalists in his government who oppose a deal that would bring about a ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages. They have voiced support for the “voluntary migration” of Palestinians from Gaza and reoccupying the territory.

Netanyahu denies the accusations and says he has the country’s best interests in mind.


Source: TRT