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Netanyahu dissolves war cabinet amid coalition shifts

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel Copyright Abir Sultan/ABIR SULTAN
Copyright Abir Sultan/ABIR SULTAN
By Daniel HarperAP
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The Israeli Prime Minister dissolved the six-member war cabinet after the departure of centrist former general Benny Gantz.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has officially dissolved the six-member war cabinet, an Israeli official confirmed on Monday.

This follows the recent departure of centrist former general Benny Gantz from the government.

Gantz had been a key figure in the unity government formed at the onset of the Gaza war in October.

The dissolution of the war cabinet, established on 11 October to manage military campaigns against Hamas and Hezbollah, marks a significant shift in the Israeli government's approach to the ongoing conflict.

The cabinet initially included Gantz's partner, Gadi Eisenkot, and leader of the religious party Shas Aryeh Deri as observers.

Netanyahu now plans to consult a smaller group of ministers on critical decisions related to the Gaza war. This group will include Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, both of whom were members of the now-dissolved war cabinet.

Netanyahu under pressure

The Israeli PM had been under pressure from his nationalist-religious coalition partners, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who sought inclusion in the war cabinet.

Their inclusion, however, risked exacerbating tensions with international allies, including the US.

The disbandment follows Benny Gantz's exit from the coalition last week, followed by Eisenkot's resignation.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has been a vocal advocate for joining the war cabinet, lobbying intensively for his inclusion.

Despite this, Netanyahu is expected to continue making strategic war decisions in smaller, ad hoc meetings while seeking broader approval from the full security cabinet.

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