All Israel

Israeli government divided over Biden ceasefire proposal; Ben Gvir, Smotrich threaten to leave coalition

Opposition leader Lapid offers 'safety net' to Netanyahu if he approves deal

Israeli Minister of Nationl Security Itamar Ben Gvir at a ceremony at the Ministry of National Security in Jerusalem. May 27, 2024. (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Following the release on Friday of a three-stage proposal to end the Gaza War by U.S. President Joe Biden, two ministers in Israel's coalition government threatened to leave the coalition if the deal is approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

After the end of Shabbat on Saturday evening, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir both announced that they would pull their parties out of the coalition if the newly proposed deal is approved by the government. 

Both ministers claimed accepting the deal would mean abandoning Israel’s goal of defeating the Hamas terrorist organization.

“I made clear to him that I will not be part of a government that agrees to the proposed outline and ends the war without destroying Hamas and bringing back all the hostages,” Smotrich said in a statement.

Ben Gvir agreed, calling the proposal “a reckless deal which would be a victory for terrorism and a security risk for the State of Israel.”

The deal would bring “total defeat” instead of “total victory,” Ben Gvir emphasized, adding a threat: “If the prime minister puts this deal into action under the conditions that have been published today, the meaning of which is the end of the war and abandoning destroying Hamas, Jewish Power will dismantle the government.”

Together, Smotrich’s Religious Zionism party and Ben Gvir’s Jewish Power party represent 13 seats of the coalition's 64 seats. Their withdrawal would collapse the government, forcing early elections. 

Opposition leader Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party has 24 seats in the Knesset, offered to back Netanyahu if he approved Biden's ceasefire proposal.

“I remind Netanyahu that he has from us a safety net for the hostage deal if Ben Gvir and Smotrich will leave the government,” Lapid posted to 𝕏.

War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz called to convene a session as soon as possible to advance the new proposal. 

“We are committed to continue advancing an arrangement to return the hostages as was formulated by the negotiation team and unanimously approved by the war cabinet, as part of the wider effort to achieve all of the war’s objectives,” Gantz said.

“In light of the developments, the war cabinet must be convened as soon as possible, together with the negotiating team, to formulate the next steps.” 

While Hamas leadership has not yet made an official response to the proposal, the group stated it would “respond positively to any proposal that includes a permanent cease-fire, a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, reconstruction efforts, the return of the displaced, and the completion of a comprehensive hostage exchange deal.” 

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