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After exiting the government, MK Eisenkot attacks Netanyahu, says ‘political considerations are influencing decision-making’

Knesset Member Gadi Eisenkot in an interview with Israel's N12 (Photo: Screenshot)

National Unity Knesset Member Gadi Eisenkot, along with party leader Benny Gantz, departed from the emergency government, eight months after joining in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas invasion and terror attack.

Gantz and Eisenkot were both serving in the War Cabinet, alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer. Eisenkot and Dermer both had observer status in the War Cabinet, while Netanyahu, Gallant, and Gantz were voting members.

In an interview with Israel's N12 Weekend News, Eisenkot shared his observations and opinions of Netanyahu’s leadership over the past few months, telling the news channel, “I came to tell the truth.” 

In his letter of resignation, Eisenkot wrote that part of his motivation for leaving the emergency government was because “extraneous and political considerations have penetrated the discussion room and are influencing decision-making.” 

Eisenkot said the decision to enter the emergency government despite reservations was due to the difficult situation Israel was facing.

“We entered at a difficult time, perhaps the most difficult for the security of the State of Israel since the War of Independence, there was no question at all,” he stated. 

For the first few months, cabinet meetings were conducted in a serious, professional manner, however, that recently began to change, according to Eisenkot.

“In the past two or three months, we have recognized that extraneous considerations enter the room and affect the way decisions are made – to the point where I understand that the ability to achieve the goals of the war is impaired,” Eisenkot claimed. 

Eisenkot, who was formerly appointed as IDF Chief of Staff by Netanyahu in 2014, said the leader he saw in the last eight months is “a different Netanyahu” than the one he knew. 

“The old Netanyahu, under whom I acted as chief of staff, would have understood that a faster move had to be made in Gaza,” Eisenkot stated, “and he would have understood that abductees had to be returned both as a moral obligation and as a strategic obligation.” 

Eisenkot also accused the prime minister of delaying the entry into Rafah, which he said the War Cabinet wanted to do in February. 

“Netanyahu is the one who jammed the entrance into Rafah,” Eisenkot said. 

The former War Cabinet observer also claimed that Netanyahu withholds information from Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir because he “doesn’t trust them.” 

He accused Ben Gvir of a “superficial, impulsive approach [to government] that seeks to make headlines, that doesn’t understand the challenges of national security deeply.” 

The former IDF Chief of Staff lost both his son and his nephew within days of each other during the war in Gaza.

Eisenkot’s claims were repeated by reserve Maj.-Gen. Guy Tzur in an interview with 103FM on Sunday morning. 

“Military action has no purpose without political action behind it,” Tzur said. 

He accused Netanyahu of dragging out the war to remain in power. 

“It is quite clear that the prime minister did not want to change the regime in Gaza, and we can fight there infinitely without it ending,” he claimed. “What the government is aiming at, on Netanyahu's orders, is that we can start saying that we are fighting in Rafah so that this government does not fall.” 

Netanyahu’s Likud party responded to Eisenkot’s statements by claiming that Gantz and Eisenkot left the government due to decreasing poll figures. 

“The prime minister’s stances are derived solely from national security considerations, which the majority of the public supports, and not from any kind of political pressure,” the statement by Likud claimed. 

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

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