World News

Israeli War Cabinet Minister Threatens to Resign Without Post-War Gaza Plan

Gantz Demands Post-War Strategy for Gaza or Vows to Quit

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz has issued an ultimatum to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: present a clear post-war plan for Gaza by June 8 or face his resignation. Gantz outlined six strategic goals, including ending Hamas rule and establishing a multinational civilian administration in Gaza.

“If you prioritize the national interest over personal agendas, we will support you,” Gantz said. “But if you choose a fanatic path, leading the nation into chaos, we will be forced to quit the government.”

Netanyahu dismissed Gantz’s comments as “empty words” that would signify “defeat for Israel.” This disagreement surfaces amidst intense fighting in Gaza, particularly in the southern city of Rafah and the northern town of Jabalia.

Disagreements on Gaza Control

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also pressed Netanyahu to clarify Israel’s intentions, emphasizing that maintaining military control in Gaza would increase security risks. While some in Netanyahu’s coalition argue for continued control to defeat Hamas, Gantz and Gallant advocate for a different approach.

Strategic Goals and Humanitarian Concerns

Gantz’s strategic goals include the return of all hostages held by Hamas and the relocation of displaced Palestinians back to northern Gaza by September 1. He also emphasized continuing efforts to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and forming an alliance against Iran.

Netanyahu responded that Gantz’s plan would prematurely end the war, abandon hostages, leave Hamas intact, and potentially establish a Palestinian state.

Calls for a “Day After” Strategy

Israeli military chief Herzi Halevi has also pushed for a “day after” strategy, warning that without a diplomatic process to establish a new governing body in Gaza, the military would need to launch repeated campaigns against Hamas.

Gantz proposed an administration involving the U.S., Europe, Arab states, and Palestinians to manage Gaza’s civilian affairs while laying the groundwork for a future government. He suggested that Israel could maintain some security control in the meantime.

Ongoing Conflict and Humanitarian Crisis

The conflict has led to significant casualties, with the Hamas-run health ministry reporting over 35,000 Palestinians killed since October 7. The fighting continues in Jabalia and Rafah, with Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups clashing, resulting in numerous civilian deaths.

UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini highlighted the dire humanitarian situation, noting that Palestinians have been forced to flee multiple times without finding safety.

U.S. Envoy’s Visit

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan is visiting Israel to meet with Netanyahu, reiterating the Biden administration’s opposition to a full-scale assault on Rafah without a plan to protect civilians. Sullivan’s talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also focused on increasing aid to Gaza and achieving Palestinian statehood.

As the conflict rages on, the need for a clear and effective post-war strategy for Gaza remains critical.

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