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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolves war cabinet

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he dissolved his war cabinet. File Photo by Gil Cohen-Magen/UPI
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he dissolved his war cabinet. File Photo by Gil Cohen-Magen/UPI | License Photo

June 17 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved his war cabinet, his office confirmed on Monday.

The small cabinet, formed at the urging of National Unity Party Chair Benny Gantz in response to the start of the war in Gaza days after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, will cease to exist and Netanyahu said a new cabinet will not be formed.

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The war cabinet had consisted of Gantz, his fellow National Unity Minister Gadi Eisenkot, along with Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affirs Minister Ron Dermer.

On June 9, Gantz announced during a news conference that he was leaving the cabinet after eight months to show his displeasure over the progress of the war against Hamas and returning hostages.

During his announcement, Gantz said Netanyahu's government turned the country's unity into "an emotional appeal with no grounding in reality." He urged Israeli armed forces, though, to "remain committed" to Israel's security.

An official from Netanyahu's office said the war cabinet was no longer relevant after the emergency unity government ended.

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"The cabinet was in the coalition agreement with Gantz at his request," Netanyahu, reportedly said. "As soon as Gantz left, there was no need for a cabinet anymore."

In its place, a spokesperson for Netanyahu's office said his security cabinet will now meet more frequently and hold ad-hoc "security consultations" with Defense Minister Gallant when needed.

The move seemed to reject calls from far-right ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, to push for a new war cabinet.

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