• en

Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz Resigns, Highlighting Deep Divisions Over Gaza Strategy

Benny Gantz resigned from Israeli war cabinet, saying that Netanyahu is preventing Israel from approaching “true victory.”

In a sign of escalating tensions within Israel’s leadership, War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz resigned from the emergency government on Sunday, criticising Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s post-conflict plans for Gaza. Gantz announced his resignation during a news conference in Tel Aviv, expressing his decision was made with a “heavy heart.”

“Unfortunately, Mr. Netanyahu is preventing us from approaching true victory, which is the justification for the painful ongoing crisis,” Gantz said. Seen as a potential contender for leadership, he urged Netanyahu to set a date for new elections.

Netanyahu responded on social media, stating, “Benny, this is not the time to quit the campaign, this is the time to join forces.” Opposition leader Yair Lapid supported Gantz’s move as “important and right.”

Following the resignation, far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir demanded a position in the war cabinet. Ben-Gvir’s right-wing coalition has threatened to withdraw support and collapse the government if Israel accepts a ceasefire proposed by US President Joe Biden.

Last month, Gantz gave Netanyahu until June 8 to clarify how Israel would achieve its six strategic goals, including ending Hamas rule in Gaza and establishing a multinational civilian administration for the territory. Netanyahu dismissed these demands as “washed-up words” that would mean “defeat for Israel.”

A retired army general and frequent Netanyahu critic, Gantz was a key member of the war cabinet alongside the prime minister and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. He announced that his National Unity party, which holds five posts in the emergency government, would also withdraw.

Although this move will not topple the government—Netanyahu retains a majority in the Knesset—it underscores deep political divisions over the handling of the Gaza conflict. Gantz’s resignation comes just before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to the region to advocate for a ceasefire.

Gantz’s influence had been viewed as a counterbalance to the far-right members of Netanyahu’s coalition. His resignation underscores growing discontent within Israel’s political landscape as it navigates the complex and volatile situation in Gaza.

In a related development, the Israeli army announced the resignation of Brigadier General Avi Rosenfeld, head of the IDF’s Gaza division, following criticism over the failure to prevent the October 7 attacks by Hamas. Rosenfeld is the first IDF combat commander to step down since the attacks.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

Follow us on: