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Gantz’s National Unity submits bill to dissolve Knesset

National Unity Party leader Benny Gantz seeks to topple the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Minister-without-Portfolio Benny Gantz holds a press conference at the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 3, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Minister-without-Portfolio Benny Gantz holds a press conference at the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 3, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz’s National Unity Party submitted a bill on Thursday to dissolve the Knesset in an attempt to topple the government led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The proposal to dissolve Israel’s parliament was submitted by National Unity lawmaker Knesset member Pnina Tamano-Shata.

“October 7 is a disaster that obliges us to return and receive the trust of the nation; to establish a broad and stable unity government that can lead us with confidence in the face of major challenges in terms of security, the economy, and especially, in Israeli society,” said Tamano-Shata.

The next Israeli national vote must be held by Oct. 27, 2026, and it is unclear whether Gantz has the support of any lawmakers from Netanyahu’s 64-member coalition in the 120-MK legislature.

Netanyahu’s Likud Party slammed Gantz’s move, saying in a statement that “in the midst of a war, Israel needs unity and not division.

“Dissolving the unity government would be a reward for [Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya] Sinwar, a capitulation to international pressure and a fatal blow to the efforts to free our hostages,” added the statement.

Earlier this month, Gantz threatened to leave Netanyahu’s coalition if the premier does not declare a plan for the day after Hamas in Gaza.

“I look you in the eyes tonight and tell you: The choice is in your hands. After talking to you again and again, the moment of truth has come,” said Gantz at the time.

He set a deadline of June 8 for Netanyahu to approve a plan of action for accomplishing what he said were six key strategic goals of the war.

He listed these as bringing home the hostages; destroying Hamas, demilitarizing the Gaza Strip and establishing Israeli security control there; creating an “international civilian governance mechanism for Gaza” including Palestinians but not P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas or Hamas; returning the residents to the north and rehabilitating the western Negev; advancing normalization with Saudi Arabia; and establishing a new framework for Israelis’ military service.

In April, Gantz said that Israel should go to the polls in September, marking the first time that the center-left politician called for early elections since joining the wartime government in the aftermath of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

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