SAccording to the official Israeli source, the trip of Benny Gantz, a centrist political rival who joined Netanyahu’s “hard-line” government in the first days of the war against Hamas, following the October 7 attack on southern Israel, is a “sign of growing divergences” within the Israeli Government after almost five months of war.

Benny Gantz’s trip comes amid deep disagreements between Netanyahu and President Joe Biden over how to alleviate the situation and suffering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and analyze post-war scenarios in the enclave.

The United States launched food aid into the Gaza Strip on Saturday, after more than a hundred Palestinians who were trying to get food on “humanitarian convoys” were killed by the Israeli army.

The airdrops bypass what has been a prohibitive aid delivery system, which has been hampered by Israeli restrictions, logistical issues in Gaza, as well as fighting within the small enclave.

Humanitarian authorities say airdrops are far less effective than aid sent by trucks.

US priorities in the region have been increasingly hampered by Netanyahu’s “hard-line” Cabinet, dominated by ultranationalists.

Gantz’s more moderate party sometimes functions as a counterweight to Netanyahu’s far-right allies.

An official from Netanyahu’s Likud party said that Gantz’s visit took place without authorization from the Israeli leader, with the Israeli prime minister having had a “difficult conversation” with Gantz about the trip. “Israel has only one prime minister,” Netanyahu told Gantz, according to the source.

However, another Israeli official assured that Gantz informed Netanyahu of his intention to travel to the United States and coordinate messages, stressing that the visit aims, after all, to strengthen ties with Washington, reinforce support for Israel’s land campaign and press for release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

Gantz is expected to meet with US Vice President Kamala Harris and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, according to a source from his party, National Unity.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the dispute with the press.

Netanyahu’s popularity has declined since the start of the war, according to most polls, with many Israelis holding him responsible for the cross-border Hamas attack that left 1,200 people, mostly civilians, dead and around 240 people, including women. , children and the elderly, kidnapped and taken to Gaza, according to Israeli authorities.

Subsequent fighting has killed at least 30,410 Palestinians, about two-thirds of them women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants.

Around 80% of the 2.3 million population have fled their homes and UN agencies say hundreds of thousands of people are on the brink of starvation.

Critics say Netanyahu’s decision-making has been tainted by political considerations, an accusation he denies. Criticism particularly focuses on plans for post-war Gaza. Netanyahu released a proposal that would allow Israel to maintain open security control over the territory, with local Palestinians handling civil affairs.

The United States wants to see progress in the creation of a Palestinian state, envisaging a renewed Palestinian leadership governing Gaza with a view to the eventual creation of a state, a vision that is contested by Netanyahu and the “hardliners” in his government.

Another senior official in Gantz’s party office questioned the way the war was conducted and the country’s strategy for freeing the hostages.

Netanyahu’s government, Israel’s most conservative and religious ever, was also rocked by a court-ordered deadline for a new bill to expand military enlistment for ultra-Orthodox Jews, many of whom are exempt from pursuing religious studies.

The issue has come at a time when hundreds of Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7 and the military is looking to fill its ranks as the war drags on.

Gantz, who according to polls would gain enough support to become prime minister if the vote were held today, is seen as a moderate politician. But he remained vague about his views on creating a Palestinian state.

Read Also: Israel changes Eurovision song lyrics to tone down political tone


Leave a Reply