Israel's Gantz Moves To Dissolve Knesset, Hold New Elections, In Anti-Netanyahu Drive

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 30, 2024 - 11:00 PM

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz is mounting a new challenge against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the coalition government, on Thursday announcing his centrist party is proposing holding a parliamentary vote on dissolving the Knesset.

"The head of the National Union Party, Pnina Tamano-Shata, has put forward a bill to dissolve the 25th Knesset. This follows the request of party leader Minister Benny Gantz to move forward in broad agreement to an election before October, a year since the massacre," the fresh statement from Gantz’s party said.

Image: Flash90

Gantz had already previously verbalized a plan to hold new elections by October, and two weeks ago he demanded in a provocative ultimatum that Netanyahu has until June 8 to present a clear strategic plan for the Gaza war.

Below is the outline that Gantz previously articulated while lambasting the lack of a clear plan from Netanyahu:

''Bring our hostages home, topple the Hamas regime, strip the Gaza Strip, and ensure Israeli security control. Alongside maintaining Israeli security control, establish an American-European-Arab-Palestinian administration to civilly manage the Strip and lay the foundation for a future alternative to Hamas and Abbas, return the residents of the north to their homes by September 1, and rehabilitate the Western Negev, promote normalization with Saudi Arabia as part of an overall move that will create an alliance with the free world and the Arab world against Iran and adopt a service plan that will lead to all Israelis serving the state and contributing to the supreme national effort.''

Gantz had continued in that prior statement: "The people of Israel are watching you. You must choose between Zionism and cynicism, between unity and division, between responsibility and neglect – and between victory and disaster.''

Huge anti-Netanyahu protests have continued in Tel Aviv and in front of government buildings and even Netanyahu's residence, and have been led by hostage victims' families. They are outraged there's been lack of clarity or prioritization of getting the rest of the hostages home, also as truce negotiations with Hamas have all but collapsed.

It is anything but clear if Gantz has the votes to dissolve Knesset, but Netanyahu’s Likud party quickly shot back on Thursday with a terse statement: "The dissolution of the unity government is a reward for [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar, a capitulation to international pressure and a fatal blow to efforts to free our hostages."

But Gantz Tamano-Shata party reasoned that "The 7th of October is a disaster that requires us to go back in order to receive the public's trust, to establish a broad and stable unity government that can lead us safely in the face of the enormous challenges in security, the economy and, above all, in Israeli society. Submitting the bill now will allow us to bring it up in the current session."

To review, Gantz joined Netanyahu’s government soon on the heels of the Oct.7 terror attack last year. "Gantz’s centrist bloc split up in March and his party does not on its own control enough seats in parliament to bring down the ruling coalition," Reuters notes.

Critics of Netanyahu say he will use his role as a wartime leader to hold onto power as long as possible. As it stands, and assuming no opposition-led intervention succeeds, there is no election scheduled before the final quarter of 2026.