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Benny Gantz resigns as Israeli war cabinet member

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Benny GantzBenny Gantz, a key member of Israel's war cabinet and longtime rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, announced his resignation from Netanyahu’s government on Sunday evening. The announcement came after an ultimatum by Gantz three weeks ago, demanding — among other things — that Netanyahu come up with a plan to replace Hamas in Gaza by June 8.

“Netanyahu is preventing us from reaching real victory,” said Gantz, a former Israeli army chief, in his Sunday evening speech. He called on Netanyahu to set a date for new elections to take place by the fall.

Gantz’s resignation — delayed by a day due to Israel’s rescue of four hostages from Hamas captivity in Gaza — reflects a growing discontent among the Israeli public and moderates with the protracted war in Gaza and Netanyahu's far-right political partners.

His departure will not topple Netanyahu’s government, analysts say, but without Gantz, a centrist, Netanyahu will now be more dependent on his far-right partners. Polls have shown that Gantz would beat Netanyahu in an election.


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