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Dissension in the Israeli government, the minister "threatens" Netanyahu

Dissension in the Israeli government, the minister "threatens"

The Israeli war cabinet minister, Benny Gantz, has threatened to resign if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not define a post-war plan for the Gaza Strip, writes the BBC

Gantz set June 8 as the deadline for a plan to achieve six "strategic goals," including ending Hamas rule in Gaza and establishing a multinational civilian administration for the territory.

"But if you choose the path of fanatics and lead the whole nation into the abyss, we will be forced out of government." , he said. 

The growing rift comes as fighting has flared on both sides of the Gaza Strip, with Israeli forces operating in the southern town of Rafah and the northern town of Jabalia, one of Gaza's historic refugee camps and an area the Israeli military previously said that he had purged Hamas fighters.

Gantz was speaking just days after another member of the war cabinet, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, urged Netanyahu to state publicly that Israel had no plans to take over civilian and military rule in Gaza.

Mr Gallant said he had raised the issue repeatedly for months but had received no response.

He and Gantz say maintaining military control of Gaza would increase Israel's security risks, while others, including far-right members of Netanyahu's ruling coalition in the government, believe continued control is necessary to defeat Hamas.

Also among the six strategic goals he laid out were the return of all Israeli and foreign hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza and the return of displaced Palestinian civilians to northern Gaza by September 1.

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