Israel's far-right minister Itamar Ben-Gvir threatens to quit cabinet if war on Gaza stops
Israel's far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has threatened to break apart the governing coalition if Israel's war on Gaza stops.
"Stopping the war = breaking apart the government," he posted on X on Tuesday.
Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip since October 7 has killed around 15,000 people, most of them children and women.
A truce has largely held since Friday 24 November, which saw Hamas and Israel swap dozens of captives and prisoners, and allow the entry of limited humanitarian aid into Gaza.
Only Ben-Gvir’s far-right Otzma Yehudit party opposed the truce, mediated by Qatar, the US and Egypt.
It is not clear if the party’s exit from the cabinet would result in a collapse of the ruling coalition.
As well as Ben-Gvir himself, Otzma Yehudit has two other ministers in Netanyahu’s 38-member cabinet, including Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu, who earlier this month called for a nuclear attack on Gaza, saying it was "an option."
In-depth: Israel's war is expected to target the tunnel network in Gaza, but underground warfare is risky and slow, and Hamas will hold clear advantages— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) November 23, 2023
What to expect from an Israel-Hamas tunnel war in Gaza ⬇️
✍️ @DarioSabaghi https://t.co/33elJ3Amqj
Ben-Gvir himself frequently made inflammatory remarks about Palestinians and had called for further arming of illegal Jewish Israeli settlers.
Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas after 7 October surprise attack on the border with Gaza, which saw the Palestinian group kill about 1,200 people - according to Israel, and take more than 200 captives.
The group said its attack came in retaliation to more than a decade-and-a-half-long siege on Gaza, and continued Israeli occupation and aggression against Palestinians in occupied territories.
Israel has been slammed by several states and rights groups for its air and ground campaign in Gaza. It has also been accused of committing war crimes, which could amount to genocide.