Netanyahu Excludes Gantz from Ceasefire Talks – Reports

Benny Gantz (L) and Benjamin Netayahu. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Citing an informed source, the report suggested that “Netanyahu sought to appease the far-right representatives in his government.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Gantz has decided to exclude War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz from decision-making in the negotiations currently taking place in Qatar, according to the Israel Hayom newspaper. 

According to the report, Gantz’s associates “are complaining about the decision, but this is not expected to lead to his party breaking up the emergency government”.

Netanyahu, who reportedly communicated his decision on Sunday,” said that from now on, the directives for the Israeli delegation would only be determined by himself and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.” Israel Hayom reported.

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According to the Israeli newspaper, tensions between Netanyahu and Gantz have been running high in recent days. 

“Members of Gantz’s circle said Sunday that Netanyahu continued to engage in petty politics during wartime, when fateful issues are on the table, foremost being the matter of the captives,” Israel Hayom reported.

Citing an informed source, the report suggested that “Netanyahu sought to appease the far-right representatives in his government.”

Limited Powers

The Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli officials as saying that Netanyahu granted the negotiating delegation limited powers, much less than what the heads of the security agencies requested.

The newspaper also quoted the officials as saying that Netanyahu had set stricter red lines regarding the Palestinian detainees who would be released, in case of a prisoner exchange deal.

The news was confirmed by the US-based news website Axios, which quoted Israeli officials as saying that Netanyahu narrowed the scope of the negotiating delegation’s mandate and set red lines for what they could accept.

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Looming Crisis?

Israeli Channel 13 reported that the ruling coalition is heading towards a crisis ahead of the negotiation talks in Doha. 

Far-right Israeli ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir reportedly threatened, in a private session, to leave the government in the case of a prisoner exchange deal.

Meanwhile, Israeli politician Gideon Sa’ar, who recently announced the breakup with Gantz’s Blue and White party, reiterated his demand to be part of the war cabinet.

According to the Jerusalem Post, “Sa’ar also repeated a statement from earlier this week, that if he is not given a seat in the war cabinet, his party will quit the government”.

Ceasefire Talks

The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas proposed a three-stage deal that would gradually lead to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, and would include a comprehensive prisoner exchange deal and the withdrawal of invading Israeli forces from the Strip.

According to Reuters, which has seen the proposal, the Palestinian group proposed the release of Israeli women, including female soldiers, children, the elderly, and ill hostages, in exchange for Israel freeing between 700 and 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Once the prisoner exchange is complete, Hamas said it would be ready to negotiate a date for a permanent ceasefire.

Netanyahu Rejects Hamas Truce Proposal, Approves Rafah Invasion Plans

Tel Aviv, however, dismissed the proposal and accused Hamas of making “unrealistic demands.”

In recent days, Netanyahu has rejected the proposal and, instead, has approved an Israeli military plan to launch an operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Gaza Genocide Continues

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 31,819 Palestinians have been killed, and 73,934 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Massacres, Siege of Al-Shifa Continue – Scores of Palestinians Killed, Wounded

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’


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