Gantz Demands Post-war Gaza Plan by June 8, or He Will Quit

Peloni:  Interesting war of words erupt between Gantz and Netanyahu as it appears that the American allies in the Israeli govt are pulling out all stops in trying their best to undermine Netanyahu’s govt, even as Israeli soldiers are dying in the pursuit of victory over Hamas.

Make sure to see the Arutz article below Lis’ article, as the two reports each contain important details.

‘Personal and political considerations have entered the most sacred parts of Israel’s defense,’ the war cabinet minister said in a press conference, calling on PM Netanyahu to ‘do the right thing’

Jonathan Lis | Haaretz | May 18, 2024

War cabinet member Benny Gantz on Saturday night.Credit: Hadas Parush

Benny Gantz, member of Israel’s war cabinet, addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night, telling him that if a plan for post-war governance of Gaza is not formulated and approved by June 8, his National Unity Party will withdraw from the government.

Gantz demanded that a plan to realize six strategic goals must be approved by June 8: the return of the hostages from Gaza; the overthrow of Hamas rule and demilitarization in Gaza; the establishment of a joint U.S., European, Arab, and Palestinian administration that will manage Gaza’s civilian affairs and form the basis for a future alternative governing authority; the repatriation of residents of north Israel who were evacuated from their homes, as well as the rehabilitation of Gaza border communities; the promotion of normalization with Saudi Arabia; and the adoption of an outline for military service for all Israeli citizens.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu, I look you in the eye tonight and tell you: The choice is in your hands,” Gantz said. “The Netanyahu of a decade ago would have done the right thing. Are you willing to do the right and patriotic thing today?”

“The people of Israel are watching you. You must choose between Zionism and cynicism, between unity and factionalism, between responsibility and lawlessness – and between victory and disaster,” he continued.

In a statement issued in response to Gantz’ ultimatum, the Prime Minister’s Office said: “While our heroic soldiers are fighting to destroy Hamas battalions in Rafah, Gantz chooses to issue an ultimatum to the Prime Minister instead of issuing an ultimatum to Hamas.”

“The conditions set by Benny Gantz are laundered words whose meaning is clear: the end of the war and a defeat for Israel, the abandonment of most of the hostages, leaving Hamas-rule intact and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Our soldiers did not fall in vain and certainly not for the sake of replacing Hamastan with Fatahstan,” the PM’s Office added.

In response to the remarks by Netanyahu’s office, Gantz’s office said that “Had the Prime Minister listened to Gantz, we would have entered Rafah months ago and finished the mission,” adding that “If the emergency government is important to the prime minister, he should hold the necessary discussions, make the necessary decisions, and not drag his feet for fear of the extremists in his government.”

The Hostages and Missing Families’ Forum said in response to Gantz’s message that “the time for talk is over. The only relevant ultimatum this evening is the time that is running out for those kidnapped. The time has come for action – to renew negotiations for the immediate return [of the hostages]!”

Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir responded to Gantz on Twitter, calling him “a small leader and a big fraud, who from the first moment of joining the government, was mainly involved in attempts to dismantle it.”

“The time has come to dismantle the cabinet of ‘the conception’, and change policy to a determined, powerful and decisive one,” he added.

Knesset member Gideon Sa’ar, who quit the coalition in March over Netanyahu’s refusal to bring him into the war cabinet, said that “When I came out against the foot-dragging (which lasted for months) Gantz claimed that everything was working well and correctly. Tonight he discovered the foot-dragging, to which he was a full partner, to say the least. Empty slogans are no cover for lack of leadership.”

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said in response: “Gantz talks about ‘discussing and deciding on the goals of the war,’ but basically means bringing in the Palestinian Authority to control Gaza, something that most Israelis oppose and which is actually a reward for terrorism.”

Gantz’s ultimatum comes days after Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said at a press conference that he “will not agree to military rule in Gaza,” and called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to publicly reject such a move, challenging him “to promote an alternative governing body to Hamas.”

Gallant said he had earlier requested that an alternative governing body be established in Gaza following the war but did not receive a response.

Sources in Gantz’s National Unity Camp claim that Gantz’s statement was intended to provide him with an excuse to leave the government, and that the chances that the prime minister would agree to the ultimatum are low.

However, other political sources estimate that Gantz hopes that his statement alongside Gallant’s will put pressure on Netanyahu to hold discussions on “the day after” in the Gaza Strip, and allow Gantz not to have to leave the government, since his resignation is unlikely to lead to the immediate overthrow of the Netanyahu government.

PMO responds: ‘Whitewashed words that mean a defeat for Israel’

The Prime Minister’s Office denounced Minister Benny Gantz’s ultimatum to the Prime Minister tonight, claiming he was targeting the wrong party.

Uzi Baruch | INN | May 18, 2024

The Prime Minister’s Office responded to the ultimatum set by Minister Benny Gantz on Saturday night to the Netanyahu government.

“While our heroic soldiers are fighting to destroy the Hamas battalions in Rafah, Gantz chooses to set an ultimatum to the Prime Minister instead of setting an ultimatum to Hamas. The conditions set by Benny Gantz are whitewashed words that clearly mean ending the war and a defeat for Israel, abandoning most of the hostages, leaving Hamas intact, and establishing a Palestinian state. Our soldiers did not fall in vain and certainly not for the sake of replacing ‘Hamasstan’ with ‘Fatahstan,'” The Prime Minister’s Office said.

“If Gantz prefers the national interest and is not looking for an excuse to overthrow the government, he should answer the following three questions:

1 – Is he willing to complete the operation in Rafah to destroy the Hamas battalions, and if so, how is it possible that he threatens to dismantle the emergency government in the midst of the operation?

2 – Does he oppose civilian control of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza, even without Abbas?

3 – Is he willing to accept a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank as part of the normalization process with Saudi Arabia?”

“The Prime Minister’s stance on these crucial issues is clear: Prime Minister Netanyahu is determined to eliminate the Hamas battalions, he opposes the entry of the Palestinian Authority into Gaza and the establishment of a Palestinian state which will inevitably be a state of terror. The Prime Minister thinks the emergency government is important for achieving all the war’s objectives, including recovering all our captives, and expects Gantz to clarify his positions to the public on these issues.”

In response, Minister Gantz’s office stated:

“1. If the Prime Minister had listened to Gantz, we would have entered Rafah months ago and completed the mission. We need to complete it, and create the necessary conditions for it.”

“2. The Palestinian Authority will not be able to govern Gaza, other Palestinian factions might – but only if we create backing from moderate Arab countries and American support. It would be advisable for the Prime Minister to focus on this and not sabotage these efforts.

“3. As Gantz said in a speech – there is no intention to establish a Palestinian state, and this is not the demand of the Saudis. Gantz, unlike Netanyahu, did not return Hebron nor announce support for a two-state solution.”

“4. If the emergency government is important to the Prime Minister, it would be wise to conduct the required discussions, make the necessary decisions, and not drag his feet for fear of the extremists in his government.”

The chairman of Religious Zionist party and the Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich responded, “Benny, the dragging on in the war is because of you and your colleagues in the misconception cabinet who even after October 7 continue to push for stopping the war and establishing a Palestinian state under American pressure.”

“The State of Israel will win with Gantz or without him, thanks to the heroic soldiers and the people of Israel. I call on the Prime Minister to make a strategic decision on full Israeli control over Gaza and decide that from now on we will not stop our forces in Rafah, in the center, and in the north of the Strip until we achieve all the goals of the war: the destruction of Hamas, the return of the captives, and the removal of the threat, both in the south and in the north facing Hezbollah.”

May 19, 2024 | 6 Comments »

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6 Comments / 6 Comments

  1. @Edgar And will you take responsibility for a repeat of the near insurrection that paralyzed the country the last time Bibi fired him? I’m reminded of my gradually easing a crazy room-mate out even though he refused to pay his share of the rent for fear he’d burn the building down or something in the ’80s. You’re always saying leave it to Bibi, well, let him handle it.

  2. STEVEN-

    He should not be allowed to “quit” he must be FIRED…Immediately.
    There is a big difference.

  3. Gantz, Gallant, Aizenkot, etc. – this whole army leadership – destroyed the Israeli army. How dare Gallant continue to be an American/globalist puppet?

  4. Netanyahu should publically ask Gantz if he thinks Netanyahu should publically present all the IDF plans just because he, Gantz, feels he needs to put on this show. After that, ejecting Gantz from the war cabinet will not be met with so much protest.