Far-right Israeli ministers threaten resignation over Gaza ceasefire plan

The Political Standoff

Two far-right Israeli ministers, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, threatened to resign and destabilize the governing coalition if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepts a Gaza ceasefire proposal put forth by US President Joe Biden.

While Mr. Netanyahu insisted on no permanent truce until Hamas is completely dismantled, opposition leader Yair Lapid pledged support if the Prime Minister backed the plan.

The Ceasefire Proposal

Mr. Biden’s three-part proposal involves a six-week ceasefire, withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from populated areas in Gaza, the release of hostages, a permanent cessation of hostilities, and a comprehensive reconstruction plan for Gaza.

However, Mr. Smotrich and Mr. Ben-Gvir strongly oppose the deal, stating it would mean the end of the war without achieving the goal of destroying Hamas.

The Coalition Dynamics

With a narrow majority in parliament, Mr. Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition relies on various factions, including Mr. Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit party and Mr. Smotrich’s Religious Zionism party, to stay in power.

On the other hand, opposition leader Yair Lapid and his party, Yesh Atid, with 24 seats, have offered their support to Mr. Netanyahu in case the far-right ministers leave the government.

International Mediation and Response

Mediators from Egypt, Qatar, and the US are urging both Israel and Hamas to finalize Mr. Biden’s proposed agreement, while UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed willingness to provide more aid to Gaza if Hamas agrees to the ceasefire.

Despite these developments, Mr. Netanyahu’s office reiterated Israel’s conditions for ending the conflict, emphasizing the destruction of Hamas’ military and governing capabilities, the release of hostages, and ensuring Gaza no longer poses a threat.

Ongoing Conflict and Casualties

Violence continued in Rafah and Gaza City, with reports of Israeli air strikes and shelling. Since the conflict began on October 7, 2023, more than 36,000 people have died in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, following an initial attack by Hamas gunmen on Israel.

Read More of this Story at www.bbc.com – 2024-06-02 03:42:08

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