19 May 2024, 09:36
Update : 19 May 2024, 10:36

Israel war cabinet minister says to quit unless Gaza plan approved

JERUSALEM, May 19, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Israeli war cabinet minister Benny
Gantz said Saturday he would resign from the body unless Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu approved a post-war plan for the Gaza Strip.

"The war cabinet must formulate and approve by June 8 an action plan that
will lead to the realisation of six strategic goals of national importance..
(or) we will be forced to resign from the government," Gantz said, referring
to his party, in a televised address directed at Netanyahu.

Gantz said the six goals included toppling Hamas, ensuring Israeli security
control over the Palestinian territory and returning Israeli hostages.

"Along with maintaining Israeli security control, establish an American,
European, Arab and Palestinian administration that will manage civilian
affairs in the Gaza Strip and lay the foundation for a future alternative
that is not Hamas or (Mahmud) Abbas," he said, referring to the president of
the Palestinian Authority.

He also urged the normalisation of ties with Saudi Arabia "as part of an
overall move that will create an alliance with the free world and the Arab
world against Iran and its affiliates".

The Israeli army has been battling Hamas militants across the Gaza Strip for
more than seven months.

But broad splits have emerged in the Israeli war cabinet in recent days after
Hamas fighters regrouped in northern Gaza, an area where Israel previously
said the group had been neutralised.

Netanyahu came under personal attack from Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on
Wednesday for failing to rule out an Israeli government in Gaza after the

The Gaza war broke out after Hamas's attack on October 7 on southern Israel
which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians,
according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

The militants also seized about 250 hostages, 124 of whom Israel estimates
remain in Gaza, including 37 the military says are dead.

Israel's military retaliation against Hamas has killed at least 35,386
people, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run Gaza's health ministry,
and an Israeli siege has brought dire food shortages and the threat of

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