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Middle East

Rift in Israel's War Cabinet as Defense Minister Demands Post-War Strategy for Gaza

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  • Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has publicly demanded a comprehensive post-war strategy for Gaza, opposing any military or civil administration in the territory.
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and key ministers have called for Gallant's dismissal, highlighting the deep-rooted rift within Israel's war cabinet.
  • The political dispute underscores the challenges of formulating a cohesive post-war strategy for Gaza and addressing the broader implications for regional stability.

The deep-rooted rift within Israel's war cabinet has escalated to new heights, as Defense Minister Yoav Gallant openly challenged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to outline a comprehensive post-conflict strategy for Gaza. Gallant's bold stance, which has garnered support from Defense Minister Benny Gantz, has ignited a heated political dispute, further complicating the already tense situation.

At a televised press conference in Tel Aviv, Gallant publicly demanded that Netanyahu present a 'day-after plan' for Gaza, expressing his disappointment over the absence of political planning. "I will not agree to the establishment of a military government in Gaza," Gallant declared, emphasizing the importance of finding an alternative governing body to Hamas. His comments came after months of tension between the two leaders and recent media reports suggesting that senior IDF officers were concerned about the lack of an alternative to Hamas, leading to potential re-engagement in areas where Hamas had allegedly been defeated, such as northern Gaza.

Gallant's opposition to a military or civilian-military regime in Gaza marks a significant point of contention within the war cabinet. He criticized the lack of political planning and warned against the establishment of a military government in Gaza. "I will not agree to the establishment of a military government in Gaza," he reiterated, highlighting the need for a well-thought-out political strategy.

In response, Netanyahu reiterated his stance against a Palestinian administration in Gaza as long as Hamas remains in power. He emphasized the need to pursue Hamas's destruction "without excuses." This response underscores the deep divide within the war cabinet, with National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi calling for Gallant's dismissal. Ben-Gvir asserted, "Such a defense minister must be replaced in order to achieve the war's objectives."

The political dispute has also brought to light Gallant's opposition to a contentious plan for the mandatory enlistment of ultra-Orthodox Jews, further straining his relationship with Netanyahu. Gallant's bold statements and public demands have marked the culmination of growing discontent among Israel's military leadership towards Netanyahu.

As the political landscape in Israel continues to evolve, the rift within the war cabinet highlights the challenges of formulating a cohesive post-war strategy for Gaza. The demand for a clear plan underscores the urgency of addressing the political and military complexities in the region, as Israel navigates its future relationship with Gaza and the broader implications for regional stability.

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