Contact Us

Israeli War Cabinet Minister Gantz calls for early elections

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published April 03,2024
Israel's War Cabinet member Benny Gantz (File Photo)

Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz called for early elections on Wednesday, according to media reports.

"We must agree on a date for elections in September, about a year from the war," Gantz in a televised briefing, The Times of Israel newspaper reported. "Setting such a date will allow us to continue the military effort while signaling to the citizens of Israel that we will soon renew their trust in us."

The Likud Party, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, rejected the demand.

"At this fateful moment for the State of Israel and in the midst of a war, Benny Gantz must stop engaging in petty politics just because his party is disintegrating.

"Early elections will inevitably lead to paralysis (in the war) and (societal) division in addition to harming (the military's goal to invade) Rafah and dealing a fatal blow to the chances of a hostage deal," it said, adding that government will remain in place "until all the goals of the war are achieved."

But according to Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid, a September election is too far away as he advocated for a swifter replacement of the current government.

"This government needs to go home as soon as possible so that we can return the hostages, return the evacuees home, defeat Hamas, and make sure that someone takes care of the Israeli middle class," he said.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border attack by Hamas which killed less than 1,200 people.

Nearly 32,800 Palestinians have since been killed and 75,300 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which on Thursday asked Tel Aviv to do more to prevent famine in Gaza.