Benjamin Netanyahu dissolves Israel's influential war cabinet after minister quits

Benjamin Netanyahu dissolves Israel's influential war cabinet after minister quits

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the war cabinet that was tasked with steering the war in Gaza after a senior government member resigned.

Mr Netanyahu’s decision comes after opposition leader Benny Gantz announced his resignation earlier this month, claiming the Israeli premier did not have a plan to win the war in Gaza or for the future governance of the Strip.

The body was formed of Mr Netanyahu, Mr Gantz, and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

The Associated Press reported that Mr Netanyahu would hold smaller forums with some of his government members for sensitive issues, citing anonymous government officials.

Mr Gantz, a longtime political rival of the prime minister, joined the government as a show of unity after Hamas' October 7 attack on southern Israel.

But he left the government earlier this month, citing frustration with the handling of the war.

At a news conference earlier this month, Mr Gantz said he had resigned with a “heavy heart".

"Unfortunately, Mr Netanyahu is preventing us from approaching true victory, which is the justification for the painful ongoing crisis," he said.

He also called on Mr Netanyahu to set a date for elections.

Mr Netanyahu responded at the time with a post on social media, saying: “Benny, this is not the time to quit the campaign, this is the time to join forces."

Critics accused Mr Netanyahu of being influenced by ultranationalists in his government who oppose a deal that would bring about a cease-fire in exchange for the release of hostages.

He denies the accusations and says he has the country's best interests in mind.

It comes as the Palestinian health ministry said on Monday more than 37,347 Palestinians have been killed and 85,372 have been injured in the Israeli military offensive on Gaza since October 7.

Israel launched the offensive after a Hamas-led terror attack on civilians killed some 1,200 people and saw around 240 people taken hostage.