the call from Benny Gantz which puts pressure on Netanyahu – L’Express

the call from Benny Gantz which puts pressure on Netanyahu

It takes date. Israeli Minister Benny Gantz, member of the war cabinet and main rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, called this Wednesday, April 3, for early legislative elections in September.

“We are going to solicit soon” the voters and “we must therefore set a consensual date in September” for legislative elections, declared Benny Gantz, who is also an MP, in a televised speech from his office in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament).

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The organization of early elections requires the agreement of 61 elected officials, or the majority of deputies in the Knesset, where Likud, the party of Benjamin Netanyahu, has the most seats without however having a majority. “I have kept the Prime Minister informed – to whom I wish good health and a speedy recovery (after his surgical operation on Sunday, Editor’s note), and we will continue the dialogue on this issue,” added Benny Gantz, who leads the National Unity Party (center right). Benjamin Netanyahu was released from hospital on Tuesday, two days after having surgery for a hernia, according to his office.

Likud rejects this call

Likud immediately rejected Benny Gantz’s call, saying in a statement that elections at a time when Israel is at war “would inevitably lead to paralysis” and “harm the fighting” of the army at war against Hamas in the Gaza strip.

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The leader of the Democratic majority in the US Senate Chuck Schumer, on the other hand, approved this call. “When a senior member of Israel’s war cabinet calls for early elections and 70% of the Israeli population supports it according to a major poll, we know it is the right thing to do,” he said. he reacted on his X account.

The American senator, a fervent supporter of Israel and close to Joe Biden, threw a wrench into the water on March 14 by personally criticizing Benyamin Netanyahu and urging the holding of elections in Israel. The American president then praised a “good speech”. Israel’s current legislature is due to end in fall 2026.

Many demonstrations

Demonstrations by opponents of Benjamin Netanyahu have brought together thousands of people in recent weeks and particularly since Saturday, notably in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Protesters and relatives of families of hostages kidnapped on October 7 in Israel called for the resignation of the Prime Minister.

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According to the latest polls, in the event of early elections, Benny Gantz would be well ahead and ahead of Benjamin Netanyahu, whose popularity has been declining since the unprecedented Hamas attack on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people. in Israel, mainly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official data. More than 250 people have been kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages, including 34 who died in Gaza, according to Israeli authorities.

In retaliation, Israel launched the war against Hamas, which left nearly 33,000 dead in the Gaza Strip, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas Health Ministry.