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Gaza war: Israeli PM Netanyahu dissolves war cabinet

Natayahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced the end of Israel’s six-member war cabinet.

The Israeli leader had announced the decision at a meeting of the political security cabinet on Sunday evening, according to a Reuters report on Monday, June 17.

Netanyahu’s far-right coalition partners have been pushing for a new war cabinet to be established after the more centrist Benny Gantz quit the emergency government.

Nationalist-religious Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, have demanded Israel must continue its Gaza war despite calls for restraint from allies including the United States, had called for a new war cabinet to be formed featuring coalition party leaders but Netanyahu reportedly turned them down.

“The cabinet was in the coalition agreement with Gantz, at his request. As soon as Gantz left – there is no need for a cabinet any more,” Netanyahu said, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.

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.

Gantz’s resignation from the government withdrew the only centrist power Netanyahu’s far-right coalition, amid the war on Gaza.

Gantz has called for an election claiming that Netanyahu failed to present a post-war plan for Gaza.

Also, according to Israeli media, Ben-Gvir appealed in a letter to Netanyahu last Thursday to expand the war cabinet.

The letter reportedly said the Israeli war has over the past eight months been “conducted in secret”, through “limited forums that change their names and definitions in a loop, all for the purpose of sole control over decisions and avoiding discussion of other positions that would challenge the old conception”.

On Sunday, Netanyahu said “In order to reach the goal of eliminating the capabilities of Hamas, [he] made decisions that were not always acceptable to the military echelon” during the weekly cabinet meeting.

The war cabinet included Netanyahu, Gantz, Gallant, Dermer, Gadi Eizenkot, and Shas party leader Aryeh Deri. It is possible, that Netanyahu will continue to consult Gallant, Dermer, and Deri privately.

While such an arrangement would not have legal weight, it would allow the prime minister to continue excluding Ben-Gvir and Smotrich from sensitive security discussions.

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