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Israel war cabinet member’s party submits bill seeking early election

Israel ultra-Orthodox parties back Gaza ceasefire deal
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The centrist party of Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz said Thursday it had submitted a bill to dissolve parliament and hold an early election.

“The head of the National Union Party, Pnina Tamano-Shata, has put forward a bill to dissolve the 25th Knesset. This follows the request of party leader Minister Benny Gantz to move forward in broad agreement to an election before October, a year since the massacre,” the party said in a statement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party countered that “the dissolution of the unity government is a reward for (Hamas Gaza leader Yahya) Sinwar, a capitulation to international pressure and a fatal blow to efforts to free our hostages”.

An election is not scheduled before the final quarter of 2026 and the Likud has previously warned that holding one earlier would harm the army’s fight against Hamas in Gaza.

On May 18, Gantz threatened to resign from the war cabinet unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approves a post-war plan for the Gaza Strip.

“The war cabinet must formulate and approve by June 8 an action plan that will lead to the realisation of six strategic goals of national importance.. (or) we will be forced to resign from the government,” Gantz said, referring to his party, in a televised address directed at Netanyahu.

Gantz said the six goals included toppling Hamas, ensuring Israeli security control over the Palestinian territory and bringing home Israeli hostages.

“Along with maintaining Israeli security control, establish an American, European, Arab and Palestinian administration that will manage civil affairs in the Gaza Strip and lay the foundation for a future alternative that is not Hamas or (Palestinian president Mahmud) Abbas.”

He also urged the normalisation of ties with Saudi Arabia “as part of an overall move that will create an alliance with the free world and the Arab world against Iran and its affiliates”.

Netanyahu has also come under criticism from Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for failing to rule out an Israeli occupation of Gaza after the war.

The Gaza war was sparked by Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,224 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

 

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







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