Israel's Netanyahu dissolves war cabinet

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved the influential War Cabinet that has overseen the fighting in Gaza, a government spokesperson said Monday, days after a key member of the body bolted from the government over frustration with the Israeli leader's handling of the war.

The move was widely expected following the departure of Benny Gantz, a centrist former military chief. Gantz's absence from the government increases Netanyahu's dependence on his ultra-nationalist allies, who oppose a cease-fire. That could pose an additional challenge to the already fragile negotiations to end the eight-month war in Gaza.

Government officials said Netanyahu would hold smaller forums for sensitive war issues, including with his Security Cabinet, which includes far-right governing partners who oppose cease-fire deals and have voiced support for reoccupying Gaza.

The War Cabinet was formed in the early days of the war, when Gantz, then an opposition party leader and Netanyahu rival, joined the coalition in a show of unity following the Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel by Hamas. He demanded that a small decision-making body steer the war, in a bid to sideline far-right members of Netanyahu’s government. It was made up of three members — Gantz, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

The move to scrap the War Cabinet comes as Israel faces more pivotal decisions.


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