Gantz expected to leave Israel government over lack of post-war Gaza plan

Gantz expected to leave Israel government over lack of post-war Gaza plan
The expected resignation comes amid increasing divides in the Israeli government, with other ministers threatening to resign if Israel agrees to a ceasefire.
3 min read
07 June, 2024
Gantz issued an ultimatum to the government for 8 June for plans to be made to bring an end to Israel's war on Gaza [Getty]

Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz is expected to leave the ruling coalition on Saturday following his unmet demand that a post-war plan for Gaza is agreed upon after giving an ultimatum last month.

Gantz's office announced that he would give a press statement on Saturday at 8:40 pm local time, where the Times of Israel reports that he will announce his withdrawal from the government.

It comes following reports in Israeli media that there are no ongoing negotiations between Gantz and the government over his demands set out in his public criticism of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in May.

Part of this criticism is over the lack of post-war plan for Gaza. Netanyahu has refused to commit to plans suggested for after the war, including that the Palestinian Authority takes over the enclave.

Other demands include a plan for the return of Israeli captives held in Gaza, destroying Hamas and the return of Israelis to their homes in both south and north Israel.

Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported on Thursday that the US has tried to convince Gantz to delay his planned departure, amid ongoing efforts to reach a ceasefire and captive deal. 

Around 120 Israeli's remain held in Gaza following Hamas' 7 October surprise attack on Israel that killed roughly 1,200 people and took around 250 captive.

Einav Zanguaker, the father of a captive held in Gaza, appealed to Gantz to remain in the government to convince other coalition members to approve the proposed deal. 

Since the outbreak of the war, Israelis living on the border with Gaza have been evacuated from their homes. In the north, where Israel is engaged in tit-for-tat clashes with Hezbollah, Israelis have also been evacuated from their homes.

During his public criticism, Gantz set an 8 June deadline for a post-war plan to be announced.

Gantz's expected resignation on Saturday comes amid a fracturing of the Israeli government following the announcement of a new ceasefire proposal by US President Joe Biden that drew ire from far-right coalition members.

This includes National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who said that they would not agree to a ceasefire with Hamas that would end the war.

Following the proposal's announcement, Ben-Gvir said that if such a deal was signed his Otzma Yehudit party would dissolve the government.

Gantz, alongside Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, have approved of the deal that would end the war in exchange for the remaining Israeli captives.

Israel's war on Gaza, which has been ongoing since 7 October, has killed 36,731 Palestinians, leaving a further 83,530 wounded.