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Ministers call to dismiss DM Gallant after he attacks Netanyahu's 'indecisiveness' on Gaza 'day after' plan

Rift opens inside government coalition over question of 'day after' in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, in Tel Aviv, October 28, 2023 (Photo: Dana Kopel/POOL)

Numerous Israeli coalition members and government ministers slammed Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, with some even calling for his dismissal, after he publicly attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his Gaza policy on Wednesday.

A storm of harsh statements from within the government followed Gallant’s highly unusual remarks on Wednesday, in which he publicly called out the prime minister for his alleged indecisiveness while hinting political considerations were the reason for it.

After Gallant called for the Palestinian Authority to take over the Gaza Strip after the war, several of his colleagues in the Likud party, as well as more right-wing Knesset Members from the Religious Zionism and Jewish Power parties lambasted him.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich demanded the cabinet hold a vote to prevent the PA from being involved in governing Gaza, and for Gallant to be fired if he voted against.

The chairman of the right-wing Religious Zionism party charged that Gallant “announced his support for the establishment of a Palestinian terrorist state as a reward for terrorism and Hamas for the most terrible massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”

The PA’s return to Gaza would “pave the way for the establishment of an Arab terrorist state and for Hamas to take over Judea and Samaria as well,” Smotrich added.

“A government in which we are members will not… establish a Palestinian state and will not endanger the existence of the State of Israel,” he vowed.

His party colleague and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir (Jewish Power) called outright for Gallant’s dismissal.

“From Gallant’s point of view, there is no difference between whether IDF soldiers control Gaza, or whether Hamas murderers control it. This is the essence of the concept of a defense minister who failed on October 7, and continues to fail even now,” said Ben Gvir.

“Such a defense minister must be replaced in order to achieve the goals of the war,” he wrote on 𝕏.

Israeli Minister of Settlements and National Missions, Orit Strock, demanded Gallant stand before the families of fallen IDF soldiers to explain why their loved ones died for his “plans to give Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, which encourages and finances terrorism, while none of which’s leaders condemned the October 7 massacre, and is currently holding talks with Hamas in China and Russia.”

Criticism also came from within Gallant's Likud party. Justice Minister Yariv Levin declared: “The people of Israel are not ready to be humiliated. The people of Israel are not ready to be led into the Oslo 2 process, which will lead Israel to another disaster.”

The Oslo Accords gave the PA control over the Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria, many of which today are strongholds for terror organizations.

“A little modesty from the minister of defense toward those who warned all these years about his and his friends’ wrong world view,” demanded Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi.

“I can agree with him on one thing: As long as he is the minister of defense, military rule is definitely a bad option. It can be fixed.”

Gideon Sa’ar, who was recently a member of the government and part of Benny Gantz’s party, was the only opposition member to criticize Gallant from the right.

“Israel has never excelled in determining for its neighbors who will rule over them,” Sa’ar noted in response to Gallant’s call to give power to the PA.

“To be honest – it’s quite clear that even if there was such a Palestinian element (spoiler: there is none, for now) – it would have had no chance if it was given power as part of an Israeli move.”

He added: “The Palestinian Authority conditions its entry into Gaza on a broad move of establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza - something that is a strategic danger for Israel.”

While agreeing with Netanyahu that eliminating the Hamas terrorist organization was critical, Sa’ar noted, “We are still far from there. On this issue, we did not hear tonight from the defense minister how we are progressing toward this goal.”

“The role of the security system is to lead to the restoration of security in the south and north and not to look for excuses for not achieving the goals of the war,” he added.

War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz sided with Gallant, stating that he “spoke the truth” and that the leadership should do the right thing “at any cost.”

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

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