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Hard setback for Netanyahu: Minister Benny Gantz resigns from the Israeli emergency government

The opposition leader criticized the absence of a long-term strategy in the war against Hamas and claimed that the prime minister hinders the possibility of achieving a true victory.

El ministro del gabinete de guerra israelí, Benny Gantz, anuncia su renuncia durante un discurso televisado

(Jack Guez / AFP)

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Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist National Unity party and one of three members of the war cabinet formed after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, announced this Sunday his withdrawal from the emergency government due to his dissatisfaction with the management of the conflict in Gaza by the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Gantz announced his resignation in a televised statement, criticizing the lack of a long-term strategy in the war against Hamas. "Fateful strategic decisions are stuck due to hesitancy and procrastination out of political considerations," he said. "Unfortunately, Netanyahu prevents us from reaching true victory. So today we’re leaving the unity government," he added.

Political repercussions

The opposition leader's departure is seen as an attempt to undermine Netanyahu's right-wing coalition. However, this decision could have the opposite effect by strengthening the influence of hardline lawmakers who oppose a ceasefire. With Gantz's resignation, Netanyahu's government will become even more dominated by far-right ministers such as Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, who will likely pressure the prime minister to take a tougher approach to the war in Gaza.

Gantz's departure could also trigger anti-government protests and demands for early elections at a critical time when U.S. and Israeli officials are renewing efforts to negotiate a deal with Hamas that would allow the release of more hostages and end the conflict.

Netanyahu's insistence to Gantz

After the opposition leader left the government, the prime minister used social media to insist that Gantz not leave the position at this time. “Israel is in an existential war on multiple fronts. This is not the time to abandon the campaign — this is the time to join forces,” he posted on X.

Netanyahu stressed that his “door will remain open to any Zionist party willing to shoulder the burden and help attain victory over our enemies."

The rescue operation

Gantz's decision comes after Israel carried out an operation that managed to rescue four hostages: Noa Argamani, Shlomi Ziv, Almog Meir Jan and Andrey Kozlov, who had been kidnapped on October 7 during a music festival in Israel. The successful operation resulted in dozens of Palestinian victims due to intense fighting in a densely populated area.