Chaos erupts in Israeli cabinet meeting on Gaza
The Israeli war cabinet's sensitive meeting on Thursday reportedly ended in chaos and conflict. The gathering, focused on post-war Gaza, saw a confrontation between Israeli Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi and far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.
Finance Minister Bezalel Sbotrich, alongside Ben-Gvir, strongly opposes any plans that do not involve exiling Palestinians from Gaza and resettling Israelis along the 41-kilometer coastal strip. This controversial exile plan, facing opposition from other war cabinet members and Israeli allies, including the U.S., has recently dominated discussions.
According to Milliyet, Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced a post-war Gaza plan conflicting with the U.S. stance on the same day Secretary of State Antony Blinken began his Middle East tour. Gallant's proposal suggests a limited Palestinian administration in Gaza under Israeli control.
Far-right members of Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition government firmly reject this plan. Al Jazeera's Hamdah Salhut, reporting from East Jerusalem, highlights that Israelis are discussing such plans in the cabinet for the first time. The Times of Israel attributes the conflict in the meeting to far-right ministers protesting the Israeli army's October 7th investigation.
The Times of Israel reports that ministers including Miri Regev and David Amsalem confronted Chief of General Staff Halevi, with the involvement of former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz in the investigation committee escalating the dispute. Far-right cabinet members argue against investigating the Hamas raid's errors on October 7th at this time.
In the meeting, Transport Minister Regev reportedly questioned Halevi's decision-making, asking, "Did you appoint Mofaz? Are you crazy?" Defense Minister Yoav Gallanti defended Halevi against the criticisms from the three ministers.
Benny Gantz, a member of the war cabinet, intervened, challenging the far-right ministers by asserting the professionalism of the investigation. The meeting, deteriorating into an argument with swearing, forced Prime Minister Netanyahu to call it to an end.