Gantz Threatens To Quit Israeli Government If Netanyahu Doesn’t Approve Long-Term Gaza Plan

Netanyahu's coalition government would still have a majority in the Knesset if Gantz quit

Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz has threatened that his party will leave the government if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t approve a long-term plan for Gaza.

In a speech on Saturday, Gantz made a list of demands that he wants Netanyahu to approve, including the establishment of a US-European-Arab-Palestinian administration to manage civilian affairs in the Strip alongside Israeli security control.

Gantz said if his conditions aren’t met by June 8, his National Unity party will leave the government. If they quit, Netanyahu’s coalition will still have a majority of seats in the Knesset (64 out of 120), so it wouldn’t force elections.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu, I look you in the eye tonight and tell you: The choice is in your hands. The Netanyahu of a decade ago would have done the right thing. Are you willing to do the right and patriotic thing today?” Gantz said in his speech.

“The people of Israel are watching you. You must choose between Zionism and cynicism, between unity and factionalism, between responsibility and lawlessness – and between victory and disaster,” he added.

According to The Times of Israel, Gantz’s full list of demands includes:

  1. “Bring the hostages home.”
  2.  “Topple Hamas rule, demilitarize the Gaza Strip and gain Israeli security control [over Gaza].”
  3.  Alongside that Israeli security control, “create an international civilian governance mechanism for Gaza, including American, European, Arab and Palestinian elements — which will also serve as a basis for a future alternative that is not Hamas and is not [Palestinian Authority President] Abbas.”
  4. “Return residents of the north [who were evacuated due to Hezbollah attacks] to their homes by September 1, and rehabilitate the western Negev [adjacent to Gaza, targeted by Hamas on October 7].”
  5. “Advance normalization with Saudi Arabia as part of a comprehensive process to create an alliance with the free world and the West against Iran and its allies.”
  6. “Adopt a framework for [military/national] service under which all Israelis will serve the state and contribute to the national effort.”

Realistically, Netanyahu couldn’t agree to Gantz’s demands since they would go against the vision of the far-right and ultra-Orthodox members of his coalition, who could force elections if they quit. Senior members of the government, including Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, have been clear that they want to re-establish Jewish settlements in Gaza and expel Palestinians.

In response to Gantz’s demands, Netanyahu’s office rejected the conditions. “The conditions set by Benny Gantz are laundered words whose meaning is clear: the end of the war and a defeat for Israel, the abandonment of most of the hostages, leaving Hamas-rule intact and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Our soldiers did not fall in vain and certainly not for the sake of replacing Hamastan with Fatahstan,” the office said.

Gantz’s office hit back and said Netanyahu should have invaded Rafah much earlier. “Had the Prime Minister listened to Gantz, we would have entered Rafah months ago and finished the mission,” the office said.

The ultimatum came after Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also publicly challenged Netanyahu and said he needed to come up with a long-term plan for Gaza. But Gallant is a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party and has not shown interest in breaking up the government.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.