Home » Gantz Threatens Resignation Over Lack of Post-War Gaza Plan

Gantz Threatens Resignation Over Lack of Post-War Gaza Plan

by Mohammed Ahmed

Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz has threatened to resign unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sets out a post-war plan for the Gaza Strip by June 8. Gantz has demanded a plan to achieve six strategic goals, including ending Hamas rule in Gaza and establishing a multinational civilian administration for the territory.

“If you put the national over personal, you will find in us partners in the struggle,” Gantz said. “But if you choose the path of fanatics and lead the entire nation to the abyss, we will be forced to quit the government.” Netanyahu dismissed Gantz’s comments as “washed-up words” that would mean “defeat for Israel.”

The growing rift comes as fighting continues at both ends of the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces are operating in Rafah and Jabalia, areas where Hamas has been regrouping. Gantz’s ultimatum follows Defence Minister Yoav Gallant’s calls for Netanyahu to publicly state that Israel has no plans to take over civilian and military rule in Gaza, emphasizing the increased security risks of maintaining military control.

Gantz outlined his strategic goals during a televised address, urging Netanyahu to choose “between Zionism and cynicism, between unity and factions, between responsibility and lawlessness, between victory and disaster.” Among these goals are the return of all Israeli and foreign hostages held by Hamas and the return of displaced Palestinian civilians to northern Gaza by September 1.

Gantz also highlighted the importance of continuing to seek the normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia as part of a broader alliance against Iran and its allies. Responding to Gantz’s speech, Netanyahu argued that meeting these demands would lead to “the end of the war and a defeat for Israel, the abandoning of most of the hostages, leaving Hamas intact, and the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

Israel’s war cabinet was formed after Hamas attacked Israeli communities near Gaza on October 7, resulting in significant casualties and hostages. The ongoing military campaign in Gaza has resulted in a high death toll, with the Hamas-run health ministry reporting 35,386 deaths.

Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi has privately urged Netanyahu to develop a “day after” strategy, expressing concerns about the long-term viability of Israel’s military presence in Gaza. The return of the Israeli military to previously cleared areas like Jabalia has raised doubts about the current strategy to eliminate Hamas.

Gantz proposed an American, European, Arab, and Palestinian administration to manage civilian affairs in Gaza while laying the foundations for a future alternative government. He suggested that Israel could maintain a degree of “security control” in the meantime.

In Jabalia, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have reported battles with Palestinian armed groups, with Palestinian medics reporting fatalities from Israeli strikes. Hamas has claimed that Israel’s raids in Jabalia have resulted in significant civilian casualties.

Late on Saturday, Israel issued new evacuation orders for parts of northern Gaza due to ongoing rocket fire towards Israeli territory. Operations have also intensified in Rafah, where Israel aims to target remaining Hamas strongholds. Philippe Lazzarini, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), reported significant displacement of Palestinians seeking shelter.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is scheduled to visit Israel for talks with Netanyahu, reiterating the Biden administration’s opposition to a full-scale Israeli assault on Rafah without a plan to protect civilians. Sullivan’s discussions with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have focused on boosting aid supplies to Gaza and advancing Palestinian statehood.

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