All Israel

Gantz’s National Unity calls to disband Knesset in symbolic move against Netanyahu

Coalition continues to hold majority even without National Unity votes

The head of the Israeli National Unity Party and the Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz, on May 23, 2024 (Photo: Screenshot).

The National Unity party, led by War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz, submitted a bill on Thursday to dissolve the currently serving 25th Knesset and bring about new elections.

National Unity joined the right-wing coalition in an emergency unity government shortly after the Hamas attack on Oct. 7.

Since then, Gantz has indicated several times that he intends to leave the government, including a call for new elections in September and an ultimatum for the government to form a post-war plan for Gaza or else he would leave the coalition.

The bill is largely seen as symbolic since the coalition still has a majority in the Knesset, even if National Unity were to exit the government.

“October 7 is a disaster that requires us to go back and receive the people’s trust, to establish a broad and stable unity government that can lead us safely in the face of the enormous challenges in security, the economy and above all – in Israeli society,” National Unity Knesset Member Pnina Tamano-Shata, who filed the bill, said in a statement.

“Submitting the bill now will allow us to bring it up in the current legislative session.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party responded to the bill in a statement: “Amid a war, Israel needs unity, not division.”

“The dissolution of the unity government is a reward for Sinwar, a surrender to international pressures and a fatal blow to the efforts to free our hostages,” the Likud stated.

National Unity responded with a statement of its own, accusing the prime minister of choosing his own interests above the nation's.

“The one who chooses to dismantle the emergency government at the country’s most difficult time is Prime Minister Netanyahu, who time and time again chooses personal interest over national interest,” the statement read.

“Yes, the State of Israel needs a government that promotes unity and not division, the return of abductees, the return of the northerners home and strives for a real victory, and not slogans that sell shirts. Netanyahu, it is not too late to come to your senses - either we will win together or you will continue alone with the ‘divide and rule’ method.”

While Gantz has been under increasing pressure from the opposition and more left-leaning party members to leave the coalition, it is unclear whether he is convinced this is the right time for it.

Gadi Eisenkot, Gantz’s No. 2, has been a prominent critic of the Netanyahu government. On Wednesday, he proposed that new elections be held sometime between September and December in order “to build the nation.”

“It is clear that this government needs to be replaced as soon as possible,” Eisenkot said.

On the other hand, a KAN news poll this week showed Netanyahu gaining favor over Gantz as the preferred candidate for prime minister for the first time in over a year, signaling potential challenges for National Unity in the upcoming elections.

The poll also indicated a narrowing gap between the two parties, with National Unity projected to gain 25 seats and Likud 21.

Analysts have said Gantz is losing votes to a potential unity ticket of a moderate right-wing alternative to Netanyahu, which could include Gideon Sa’ar, who recently left National Unity and the government, former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, former Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen, and potentially even the Yisrael Beytenu party, along with its chairman Avigdor Liberman.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories