Netanyahu dissolves Israeli war cabinet

From left, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz speak during a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel on Oct. 28, 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved his war cabinet, an Israeli official said on June 17, in a widely expected move that came after the departure of a key member.

Netanyahu is now expected to hold ad hoc consultations about the Gaza war with a small group of ministers, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. However, they will seek final approval from the wider security cabinet.

The prime minister announced the move to ministers, saying the war cabinet had been established as part of an agreement in which moderate politician Benny Gantz and his National Unity party joined an emergency coalition last year.

With Gantz having resigned a week ago, Netanyahu reportedly told ministers that the war cabinet was no longer needed.

"Now that the emergency unity government is no more, the war cabinet that emerged as part of that arrangement is no longer relevant," an official from Netanyahu's office told the Israeli media.

The move appears to be a deliberate snub to Netanyahu's far-right allies in the coalition, including the national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who had been angling for a seat in the war cabinet since Gantz's departure after complaining he had been sidelined for key decisions.

The Ben-Gvir's inclusion would have intensified strains with international partners including the United States, according to the Israeli media.

The war cabinet was formed five days after the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Reports in the Hebrew language media suggested...

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