‘Political Reasons’ – Gantz Accuses Netanyahu of Obstructing Prisoner Exchange Deal

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

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Gantz said in an interview with Israel’s public broadcaster on Thursday that Netanyahu is blocking the prisoner exchange deal.

Former Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz has reportedly accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of obstructing a prisoner exchange deal with the Palestinian Resistance in the Gaza Strip for “political reasons.”

Gantz, who leads the National Unity Party, resigned Sunday from the emergency government, claiming that Netanyahu’s actions were preventing “true victory” in Israel’s onslaught against Gaza.

According to the Anadolu news agency, Gantz said in an interview with Israel’s public broadcaster on Thursday that Netanyahu is blocking the prisoner exchange deal based on personal political calculations rather than the interests of Israel.

“Netanyahu has made several decisions recently for personal and political reasons,” Gantz said, without elaborating, reported Anadolu.

“I have tried for several months to influence decisions within the War Cabinet for Israel’s benefit, but to no avail,” he added.

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The Jerusalem Post reported that in an interview with Israel’s Channel 14, Gantz said Netanyahu blocked “his own hostage deal proposal.”

“He approved a plan to return hostages and did nothing to promote it due to political considerations. Netanyahu did not advance the matter strongly enough,” the paper quoted him as saying.

‘Year or Two-Year’ Ceasefire

The National Unity party leader stated that Israel should pay the price of a “year or two-year-long” ceasefire in Gaza in exchange for the return of all hostages, said the paper.

Gantz also said, “There needs to be pressure on Qatar and Egypt, and we need to seize the moment when we can make a plan. Otherwise, the price will be higher. It is necessary to understand that the hostages need to return home.”

Asked about the day after a potential resolution, Gantz reportedly said: “Palestinian forces will receive international support. We told Netanyahu that we needed to deal with the day after because it is a complex matter that wont solve itself.”

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He added “The fact that we didn’t deal with it only delayed the security. Meanwhile, a vacuum and chaos will be created, and the soldiers will continue to fight.”

Gantz and his fellow party member, Gadi Eisenkot, who also resigned from the emergency government, called for an agreed-upon date for early parliamentary elections.

Their withdrawal does not dismantle the government as Netanyahu still enjoys the support of 64 of 120 Knesset members.

Over 37,000 Killed

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, 37,232 Palestinians have been killed, and 85,037 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

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

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly 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’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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