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Top Israeli official gives Netanyahu an ultimatum: Threatens to resign if there is no post-war plan before June 8

Benny Gantz's proposal comes days after a similar proposal by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, weakening the unity of the Israeli war cabinet.

Benny Gantz

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The extension and uncertainty of the war against Hamas caused another crack in the Israeli government. Following the threat from Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Benny Gantz, the number two in the war cabinet, issued an ultimatum to Benjamin Netanyahu. The official stated that he would resign if the prime minister did not approve a post-war plan for the Gaza Strip before June 8.

Gantz, a 65-year-old political veteran, spoke out in a televised speech explicitly directed at Netanyahu.

“The war cabinet must formulate and approve before June 8 an action plan that leads to the realization of six strategic objectives of national importance, or we will be forced to resign from the government,” he expressed.

Gantz has already presented a similar plan, which consists of seven points and includes the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, the return of at least dozens of hostages and the establishment of an international administration of civil affairs. Of course, now, with the terrorist group out of the territory.

“If they choose the path of fanatics and lead the entire nation into the abyss, we will be forced to abandon the government,” the official added.

Netanyahu's plan, presented in February, would allow Israel to maintain security in Gaza indefinitely after the conflict ends. However, that plan would run counter to pressure from the United States and other nations for Israel to establish an independent Palestinian government.

Gallant, the defense minister, had also threatened Netanyahu to begin plans for a Palestinian state.

“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 a military government in the Gaza Strip, and that an alternative government to Hamas will be moved forward immediately in the Gaza Strip,” the minister said.

The wear and tear of the war on the government was accentuated by the repatriation of the body of Ron Benjamin, a 53-year-old man who was murdered and kidnapped by Hamas on October 7. According to official sources, Benjamin was “killed during the October 7 massacre at the Mefalsim crossing, and his body was kidnapped and taken to Gaza by Hamas militiamen.”

His body was repatriated along with that of three other hostages who also tragically lost their lives, Shani Louk, Amit Buskila and Itzhak Gelerenter.