Israel's Wartime Government Fracturing As Top Minister Threatens To Quit

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, May 19, 2024 - 06:00 PM

Tensions within the Israeli government are exploding, after Defense Minister Yovav Gallant earlier this week called out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and gave him an ultimatum, demanding that a day-after plan be offered and approved by the government.

"I call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to make a decision and declare that Israel will not establish civilian control over the Gaza strip, that Israel will not establish military governance in the Gaza strip, and that a governing alternative to Hamas in the Gaza strip will be raised immediately," Gallant said recently. 

What's more is that Washington is backing Gallant's pressure campaign against Netanyahu. "We share the Defense Minister’s concern that Israel has not developed any plans for holding and governing territory the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] clears, thereby allowing Hamas to regenerate in those areas. This is a concern because our objective is to see Hamas defeated," a senior Biden administration official told The Hill

Gallant first issued his indictment days ago, but over the weekend Axios reported that a timetable has been issued. It was War Minister Benny Gantz's turn to ratchet up the pressure, backing Gallant's stance:

Minister Benny Gantz, a notable member of Israel's war cabinet, gave an ultimatum to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday and said his party will leave the government if the cabinet doesn't approve a strategy for the war in Gaza by June 8.

Gantz complained in the Saturday speech that the hardliners in Netanyahu's coalition are "taking Israel into a wall" - a reference to ministers Itamar Ben Gvir and Betzalel Smotruch. Gantz threatened to withdraw from the fragile coalition government which could collapse it.

It didn't take long over the weekend of the prime minister to issue a statement defying both his own top ministers and Washington. 

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office rejected Gantz threat in a fresh statement. "The conditions set by Benny Gantz are washed-up words whose meaning is clear: the end of the war and a defeat for Israel, the abandonment of most of the hostages, leaving Hamas intact and the establishment of a Palestinian state," it said.

Netanyahu further questioned Gantz and his political allies' resolve to see the mission through. "Prime Minister Netanyahu thinks that the emergency government is important for achieving all the goals of the war, including the return of all our hostages, and expects Gantz to clarify his positions to the public on these issues," the statement continued.

Gantz then hit back again in response to Netanyahu's office, saying the prime minister should not "drag his feet for fear of the extremists in his government."

Anti-Netanyahu protests have meanwhile only grown larger and stronger...

Critics of Netanyahu have accused the Israeli leader ultimately placing his own political survival above the true security interests of Israel. They've charged that his incentive is to prolong the conflict, and that this does further harm to the cause of bringing the hostages home.