Netanyahu disbands inner war cabinet

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has dissolved his six-member war cabinet, an Israeli official confirmed on Monday. The decision follows the departure of centrist former general Benny Gantz from the government.

Netanyahu is expected to conduct consultations about the Gaza conflict with a smaller group of ministers, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, both of whom were members of the disbanded war cabinet.

The prime minister had faced pressure from nationalist-religious coalition partners, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who demanded inclusion in the war cabinet. This inclusion would have likely exacerbated tensions with international allies, including the United States.

The war cabinet was initially formed when Gantz joined Netanyahu in a national unity government at the start of the conflict in October. The cabinet also included Gantz’s partner, Gadi Eisenkot, and Aryeh Deri, head of the religious Shas party, as observers.

Gantz and Eisenkot resigned from the government last week, citing Netanyahu’s failure to develop a strategy for the Gaza war.