Israel: Gantz quits war cabinet

Benny Gantz has resigned from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's emergency government. With this step the popular former military chief made good on his threat to withdraw his support from the war cabinet formed after the Hamas terrorist attack if the head of government failed to present a post-war plan for the Gaza Strip. But even without Gantz's party Netanyahu still commands a parliamentary majority.

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The Economist (GB) /

Even less elbow room for Netanyahu

Without a moderating counterpart in the government Netanyahu will come under even more pressure, writes The Economist:

“He will miss his centrist partners who helped him balance the hardliners' demands for more devastating military action. Accepting that would lead to ever greater international isolation and deepen the already unprecedented crisis with the Americans. He will continue trying to play for time but will have to choose between escalation and scaling-down at some point.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Elections are the goal now

For Peter Münch, Israel correspondent for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, this move will not bring a solution to the deadlock any closer:

“Netanyahu will retain his majority in parliament even after Gantz's departure. If he manages to keep his right-wing religious coalition together, elections won't have to be held again until autumn 2026. The influence of the extremists gathered around Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich will now grow and make the government even more unpredictable. ... Gantz deserves support: from Israel's friends and allies. They must make it clear which Israel they support. The goal now must be to bring about a new election, end Netanyahu's disastrous rule and prevent the region from falling into further chaos.”