Netanyahu Dissolves Israeli War Cabinet Week After Benny Gantz Quit

An Israeli source informed a media outlet on June 16th that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has disbanded his war cabinet after opposition leader Benny Gantz’s withdrawal from the body last week.

Netanyahu will likely hold smaller conferences on sensitive issues, and decision-making will once again be handled by the government’s main security cabinet.

The five-person war cabinet was formed five days after the October 7 terrorist assaults on Israel by Hamas. It consisted of Netanyahu, Yoav Gallant, and Benny Gantz, the opposition leader.  Gadi Eisenkot and Ron Dermer served as observers.

Gantz announced his difficult decision to resign from the cabinet. He cited Netanyahu’s inability to come up with a plan for the Gaza war and the future administration of the Strip as his reasons. Gantz thinks that Netanyahu is preventing them from achieving a genuine triumph in Gaza.  He criticized Netanyahu for prioritizing his political interests over a post-war plan for the Gaza Strip and called on the prime minister to call an election in September.

Some believe that Netanyahu dismantled the cabinet to avoid further strain on Israel-US relations or to appease National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, whose demands could have infuriated other members of Netanyahu’s coalition.

Ben-Gvir is one of twelve ministers from Israel’s security cabinet, which includes Smotrich, Gallant, and Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who is the minister of national security.

Smotrich and Ben-Gvir have both called for Israel to keep attacking Gaza until Hamas is vanquished. Ben-Gvir has also threatened to depose Netanyahu’s administration if the prime minister adopts the peace plan that President Joe Biden officially presented last month.

The decision to declare a daily tactical halt of military operations along a corridor in southern Gaza to facilitate aid distribution was slammed by Ben-Gvir after the IDF announced it last week.

He said that the decision to institute a humanitarian transition during a “tactical pause” while their bravest warriors were losing their lives in battle was made by someone with bad intentions who was foolish to remain in charge.