Netanyahu abolishes War Cabinet

Departure of Benny Gantz from the government left War Cabinet in limbo, Netanyahu tells coalition the special war-time body will be discontinued.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has abolished the War Cabinet, ending the special war-time body established for the war against Hamas.

Hebrew media outlets reported Monday that during Sunday’s meeting of the Security Cabinet, Netanyahu announced the dissolution of the War Cabinet.

The War Cabinet was established on October 11th, following the Hamas invasion of October 7th, to provide a separate decision-making body other than the existing Security Cabinet.

Netanyahu was joined by two other voting members: Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) and Minister Without Portfolio Benny Gantz (National Unity). Three other non-voting members were included with observer status, among them MK Gadi Eizenkot, also a member of Gantz’s National Unity faction.

The arrangement drew sharp criticism from the government’s right-wing allies, including National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionist Party) – both of whom are statutory members of the Security Cabinet.

The two ministers accused the War Cabinet of circumventing the Security Cabinet and empowering the center-left National Unity party on critical war-time decisions.

Gantz, Eisenkot, and the remainder of the National Unity party bolted the government last week, leaving the War Cabinet in limbo.

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Ben-Gvir had used their departure to again lobby for his own inclusion in the War Cabinet, offering himself as a replacement for Gantz as a voting member.

Instead, however, Netanyahu informed ministers Sunday that the War Cabinet would not be reconstituted and would be abolished.

“in order to reach the goal of eliminating the capabilities of Hamas, [he] made decisions that were not always acceptable to the military echelon,” Netanyahu told Security Cabinet ministers, shooting down the idea of replacing Gantz with Ben-Gvir.

“We have a country with an army and not an army with a country.”

Netanyahu is expected, however, to continue to consult with War Cabinet members Yoav Gallant and Ron Dermer, a Likud loyalist who served as an observer in the War Cabinet.