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Israeli Officials Say Netanyahu Has Dissolved The War Cabinet After Key Partner Bolted Government

The War Cabinet was dissolved following the departure from the government of Benny Gantz, an opposition lawmaker who had joined the coalition in the early days of the war. He had demanded that a small Cabinet be formed as a way to sideline far-right lawmakers in Netanyahu's government. Gantz, Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant were its members and made key decisions together throughout the war.

Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File
From left, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz speak during a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel on Oct. 28, 2023. Israeli officials said Monday, June 17, 2024, that Netanyahu has dissolved the influential War Cabinet that was tasked with steering the war in Gaza. Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File
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Israeli officials said on Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the influential War Cabinet that was tasked with steering the war in Gaza.

The War Cabinet was dissolved following the departure from the government of Benny Gantz, an opposition lawmaker who had joined the coalition in the early days of the war. He had demanded that a small Cabinet be formed as a way to sideline far-right lawmakers in Netanyahu's government. Gantz, Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant were its members and made key decisions together throughout the war.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the change with the media, said that going forward Netanyahu would hold smaller forums with some of his government members for sensitive issues. Gantz, a longtime political rival of Netanyahu's, joined the government as a show of unity after Hamas' October 7 attack on southern Israel. He left the government earlier this month, citing frustration with Netanyahu's handling of the war.

Critics say Netanyahu's wartime decision-making has been influenced by ultranationalists in his government who oppose a deal that would bring about a cease-fire in exchange for the release of hostages. They have voiced support for the “voluntary migration” of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and reoccupying the territory.

Netanyahu denies the accusations and says he has the country's best interests in mind.

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