Ground conflict widens in Mideast following resignation in Israeli war cabinet

The resignation of former general Benny Gantz from the Israeli war cabinet comes as US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, visits Israel. The war continues with Hezbollah drones over Lebanon and Israeli raids in the West Bank.

Jun 13, 2024

An election campaign banner from March depicting then Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

By Stefania Ferretti
As had been expected, Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz decided to leave the government, stating to the media that prime minister "Netanyahu is preventing us from moving towards true victory, therefore, we are leaving the emergency government today with a heavy heart, but intact."

These are the words the minister used in announcing on 9 June his resignation and the exit of his National Unity party from the coalition government. The move had been expected for days, but Benny Gantz decided to postpone the announcement after the Israeli army's operation on Saturday morning that freed four hostages in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the centre of the Gaza Strip. After the resignation of Benny Gantz, the head of Israeli National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, officially asked to join the Israeli emergency government formed to deal with the conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

UN vote on ceasefire agreement
Without specifying a date for the vote, the US meanwhile called for a UN Security Council vote on its draft resolution for a Gaza ceasefire agreement and a new mission to the Middle East was announced for US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

US Secretary of State's visit
Before meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Antony Blinken will be in Cairo for talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Negotiations will take place over the release of more hostages and a cessation of hostilities that could lead to the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

Risk of regional conflict
The conflict is involving not only the Gaza Strip now. For the first time since the war broke out in the region, a Hezbollah group fired anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli fighter planes in southern Lebanon, while two Palestinians were reportedly killed in other Israeli raids in the West Bank.--Vatican News

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