Israeli War Cabinet Member Gantz Threatens to Resign Gaza Strategy

Deir al-Bala, Gaza Strip (AB) – Benny GantzA popular centrist member of Israel’s three-member war cabinet threatened Saturday to resign from the government if the new plan was not accepted within three weeks. War in GazaThe decision to leave the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu More reliant on far-right allies.

Notice deepens a rift More than seven months into a war led by Israel, Israel has yet to meet its goals of ousting Hamas and returning scores of hostages taken in the militant group’s October 7 offensive.

Gantz outlined a six-point plan including the return of hostages, ending Hamas’ rule, demilitarizing the Gaza Strip and establishing an international administration of civilian affairs with US, European, Arab and Palestinian cooperation. The program also supports efforts to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and expand military service to all Israelis.

He adjourned till June 8. “If you choose the path of fanatics and lead the entire nation to the abyss – we are forced to leave the government,” he said.

Netanyahu responded in a statement that Gantz had chosen to deliver the ultimatum to the prime minister instead of Hamas, calling his terms “euphemisms” for Israel’s defeat.

Gantz, a longtime political rival of Netanyahu, joined his coalition and war cabinet in a gesture of national unity in the early days of the war. His departure will put Netanyahu on further watch for far-right allies who believe Israel should occupy Gaza and rebuild Jewish settlements there.

Gantz spoke a few days after Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, a third member of the war cabinet, said he would not remain in office if Israel elected to reoccupy Gaza. Called Govt Develop plans for Palestinian governance.

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In what was seen as a swipe at Netanyahu, Gantz said “personal and political considerations have begun to infiltrate Israel’s holiest of holy sites.” Netanyahu’s critics accuse the prime minister of trying to prolong the war to avoid new elections, charges he denies.

Opinion polls suggest Gantz is the most likely candidate to become the next prime minister. That would put Netanyahu on trial on longstanding corruption charges.

Netanyahu is under growing pressure on several fronts. The hardliners want to launch a military offensive on the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Top allies, the United States and others, are warning against an attack on a city where more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have taken refuge – hundreds of thousands have now fled. are threatening to reduce humanitarian aid to Gaza and Hunger crisis.

US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan is due to visit Saudi Arabia and Israel this weekend to discuss the war and meet with Netanyahu on Sunday. Who declared Israel will “stand alone” if necessary.

Many Israelis, angry over the hostages and accusing Netanyahu of putting political interests above all else, want a deal to end the fighting. The army’s claims of its troops in Gaza sparked fresh frustration on Friday They found the bodies of the three hostages Killed by Hamas on October 7. Israel announced on Saturday that it had found the body of a fourth hostage.

Thousands of Israelis marched again Saturday evening to demand agreement with new elections. Some police in Tel Aviv responded with water cannons.

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“This government is taking the country to places I don’t want my country to go,” said Noam Faghi, a protester.

Recent talks brokered by Qatar, the United States and Egypt to continue a ceasefire in Gaza have brought little.

A new effort to deliver much-needed aid to Gaza failed on Saturday. Several Israeli tanks fired warning bombs in an apparent attempt to clear the way for the food trucks. A new ship built in America. According to Associated Press journalists at the scene, one Palestinian was killed. Hundreds of Palestinians gathered around the parked trucks and carried the boxes.

A Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7 killed 1,200 people and took 250 hostages. Israel says 100 hostages are still being held in Gaza, along with the bodies of 30 others. Local health officials say more than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the Israeli offensive.

Netanyahu said Israel would maintain open security control over Gaza and ally with local Palestinians not affiliated with Hamas or the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, which rules parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. But Netanyahu said it was impossible to project a post-war power until Hamas was defeated.

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Krause and Jeffrey report from Jerusalem. Associated Press writers Sam Mednick in Tel Aviv and Natalie Melzer in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the battle https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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