ALERT: Major War News

( – Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the Israeli war cabinet that had been overseeing the conflict in Gaza in a rebuke to his far-right allies.

Such allies had been competing for seats and seemed aimed at consolidating his control over decisions regarding the fight with Hamas in Gaza.

The prime minister informed ministers that the war cabinet was set up as part of an agreement when Benny Gantz and his National Unity party joined an emergency coalition last year.

Speaking anonymously, Israeli officials confirmed the disbanding of the war cabinet. This comes amid growing dissatisfaction with the handling of the Gaza war and calls from anti-government groups for daily protests.

Now, Netanyahu is expected to consult with a small group of ministers, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, who were in the war cabinet, on the Gaza war.

Though the war cabinet’s dissolution may not impact the conflict significantly—decision-making will shift back to the security cabinet—the political effects could be notable.

Moreover, this move seems to deliberately sideline the prime minister’s far-right allies, such as National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who had been pushing for a seat in the war cabinet after Gantz’s departure.

According to Israeli media reports, Netanyahu told the full cabinet that “in order to reach the goal of eliminating the capabilities of Hamas, [he had] made decisions that were not always acceptable to the military echelon”, but added: “We have a country with an army and not an army with a country.”

Netanyahu’s actions indicate growing confidence as his poll numbers have risen since Gantz’s departure, which caused Gantz’s polling to drop significantly.

While the Biden administration had pressured Netanyahu to keep the war cabinet, viewed as a more moderate forum, some analysts believe this move allowed the prime minister to continue the conflict while sidelining Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

Despite its effectiveness, meeting numerous times since Hamas’s surprise attack on southern Israel’s Gaza border communities on October 7, the war cabinet’s dissolution shifts some key decisions to an expanded cabinet.

This larger group, sometimes numbering 50 participants, includes more hawkish voices, giving Netanyahu more political cover for the ongoing conflict.

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