Gantz: Israel facing ‘a security disaster’ under current government

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

National Unity party leader Benny Gantz speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset on February 20, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
National Unity party leader Benny Gantz speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset on February 20, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Former defense minister Gantz warns that Israel is facing “a security disaster,” exacerbated by parts of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government that Gantz says are “fueling terrorism.”

“Nowadays, there is no government in Israel – there is chaos,” says Gantz at his National Unity party’s Knesset faction meeting. “Those accused of terrorism and incitement, sitting at the government table and in the cabinet under Netanyahu’s auspices, are harming the deep security interests of the State of Israel,” he adds, in apparent reference to the far-right’s Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich.

Ben Gvir holds multiple convictions for incitement and supporting a terror group, while in 2005, Smotrich was held by the Shin Bet for several weeks on suspicion of terror, but was ultimately released without being charged.

“I am deeply concerned that we are facing a security disaster, and parts of this government are fueling terrorism,” the opposition party leader continues, slamming Netanyahu for “dragging us into a difficult and dangerous security reality.”

Gantz, a former Netanyahu partner, extends his criticism to several moderate Likud politicians, whom he calls a “Trappist monastery” for sitting silently while the “anarchists” in their coalition “set fire” to the land.

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