Updated May 16th, 2024 at 17:23 IST

Israeli Ministers Demand Defence Minister's Ouster After he Opposes Netanyahu's Plan for Gaza

Gallant has warned against Israeli civil or military rule in Gaza and advocated for governance by non-Hamas Palestinian entities.

Reported by: Sagar Kar
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu | Image:AP
Advertisement

Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu has joined a chorus of far-right politicians calling for the replacement of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant following a heated public disagreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Gaza’s future.

Eliyahu, speaking on Army Radio, asserted, “If Gallant had respect for Israeli democracy, he would vacate his seat. [Likud’s Agriculture Minister Avi] Dichter or Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter can replace him. Gallant does not represent the will of the people.”

Advertisement

Why are senior ministers calling for Gallant's ouster?

The call for Gallant's removal comes after Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, the leader of Eliyahu’s Otzma Yehudit party, demanded Gallant's ouster in response to his direct challenge to Netanyahu’s post-war strategy for Gaza.

Advertisement

Gallant doesn't want Israel to control Gaza after the war 

Gallant’s televised address on Wednesday urged Netanyahu to make "tough decisions" to advance non-Hamas governance in Gaza, emphasizing that Israel's long-term security is at stake. According to a report from the Times of Israel, he warned against Israeli civil or military rule in Gaza and advocated for governance by non-Hamas Palestinian entities, backed by international actors.

Advertisement

This bold stance by Gallant, perceived as a significant political challenge to Netanyahu from within his own government, triggered a swift backlash among coalition members, who urged the prime minister to dismiss the defense minister.

How did Netanyhau respond to Gallant's views?

Netanyahu, in a quick retort, rejected Gallant’s proposals, stating that he was “not prepared to switch from Hamastan to Fatahstan,” in reference to the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority.

The clash between Gallant and Netanyahu underscores the tensions within the Israeli government regarding the approach to Gaza's future.

Advertisement

As the fallout continues, the question of Gallant’s future in the government remains uncertain.

Advertisement

Published May 16th, 2024 at 17:23 IST