Benny Gantz leaves Israel’s government

Updated 19.50 | Published 19.47



Benny Gantz, who leads the party Strength for Israel, is leaving the government, he announced in a televised speech according to several media.

The defection takes place in protest against how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has handled the war in Gaza.

– Leaving the government is a difficult and painful decision, he says in the speech.

Gantz, who is the leader of the opposition but also sits in the country’s war cabinet, has since last month threatened to resign if Netanyahu does not approve a post-war plan by June 8.

In his ultimatum, Gantz had, among other things, demanded that everyone be brought home from the hostages, but also that an international government should be created for a demilitarized Gaza after the war.

Netanyahu’s coalition government is sandwiched between centrists such as Gantz and the far right, who also hold ministerial posts and have issued their own ultimatums not to split the government.