Written by 00:45 World

Netanyahu Dissolves War Cabinet After 2 Key Members Quit

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has dissolved his war cabinet, an Israeli official said Monday, after the departures of two significant members prompted demands from far-right politicians for representation in the influential group.

The two members, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, quit Mr. Netanyahu’s small war cabinet last week amid disagreements over the direction of the war in Gaza. The men, both former military chiefs, had been seen as voices of moderation in the body, which was formed in October after the Hamas-led assault on Israel and made many decisions about the conflict.

The Israeli official suggested that Mr. Netanyahu’s decision to disband the body — which was communicated to ministers at a wider cabinet meeting on Sunday — was largely symbolic given that Mr. Gantz and Mr. Eisenkot had already resigned.

Since their departures, discussions about the war have been driven by Mr. Netanyahu in conjunction with his defense minister, Yoav Gallant, and close advisers, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Dissolving the war cabinet formalizes that process. It may also defuse calls from Mr. Netanyahu’s far-right coalition partners who might have hoped to fill the places of Mr. Gantz and Mr. Eisenkot.

According to Mr. Eisenkot, the influence of one of those far-right leaders, Itamar Ben-Gvir, the minister of national security, had long loomed over the war cabinet’s discussions. After Mr. Gantz resigned, Mr. Ben-Gvir immediately demanded to join the group, writing on X that it was “about time to take brave decisions, achieve true deterrence, and bring true safety to the residents of the south, north, and all of Israel.”

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Last modified: 18 June 2024
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