Far-right Israeli ministers threaten to resign over proposed ceasefire in Gaza

Two far-right Israeli ministers have threatened to resign and collapse the ruling coalition if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agrees to the proposed ceasefire in Gaza announced by US President Joe Biden on Friday.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said they were opposed to reaching any agreement before Hamas was destroyed.

But opposition leader Yair Lapid pledged to support the government if Netanyahu backs the plan.

The prime minister himself affirmed that there will be no permanent ceasefire until Hamas’s military and administrative capabilities are destroyed and all hostages are released.

Biden’s three-part proposal would begin with a six-week ceasefire in which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would withdraw from populated areas in Gaza. The final agreement will result in the release of all hostages, a permanent “cessation of hostilities” and a major reconstruction plan for Gaza.

But in a social media post on Saturday, Mr. Smotrich said he had told Mr. Netanyahu that he would “not join a government that agrees to the proposed outline and ends the war without destroying Hamas and return all hostages.”

Repeating his words, Mr. Ben-Gvir said “the agreement… means ending the war and abandoning the goal of destroying Hamas. This is a reckless agreement, constituting a victory for terrorism.” and is a security threat to the State.” Israeli”.

He vowed to “dissolve the government” instead of agreeing to this proposal.

Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition holds a slim majority in parliament, relying on a range of factions, including Mr Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party – which holds six seats – and the Zionist party. Mr. Smotrich’s religious Jewish state – which holds seven seats – to maintain power.

But Yair Lapid, one of Israel’s most influential opposition politicians, quickly offered support for the embattled prime minister. His Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party holds 24 seats.

He said Netanyahu “has a safety net for a hostage deal if Ben-Gvir and Smotrich leave the government”.

The controversy occurred when tens of thousands of people protested in Tel Aviv, calling on the Israeli government to accept the plan proposed by Mr. Biden. They also demanded Mr. Netanyahu’s resignation. Clashes broke out between protesters and police, and several protesters were said to have been arrested.

In a joint statement on Saturday, mediators from Egypt, Qatar and the US called on both Israel and Hamas to “finalize” the agreement proposed by Mr. Biden.

The officials said that “as mediator in the ongoing discussions aimed at securing a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of hostages and detainees”, they “called on both Hamas and Israel finalize an agreement that embodies the principles outlined by President Joe Biden.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also expressed support for the plan, telling reporters that his government could “flood Gaza with more aid” if Hamas accepted the ceasefire plan.

Earlier, a senior Hamas politician told the BBC that they “will implement this deal” if Israel does so.

But in a statement on Saturday, Netanyahu’s office said Israel’s “conditions for ending the war have not changed”.

It lists these as “the destruction of Hamas’s military and administrative capacity, the release of all hostages and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel”.

The statement added that Israel will “continue to insist that these conditions are met” before agreeing to a permanent ceasefire.

Elsewhere, fighting continued in Rafah on Saturday, with reports of Israeli airstrikes on the southern Gaza city on the Egyptian border.

Shelling and gun battles also occurred in Gaza City, in the northern Palestinian territory.

According to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, more than 36,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the conflict.

The war began on October 7, 2023 when Hamas gunmen launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, killing about 1,200 people and taking 252 back to Gaza as hostages.


News 7F: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button