Gantz: Those who harm Israel’s security should not sit in government

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

National Unity chair Benny Gantz gives a video statement on April 3, 2024. (Screen capture/X)
National Unity chair Benny Gantz gives a video statement on April 3, 2024. (Screen capture/X)

In what appears to be a dig at several of his coalition colleagues, National Unity Minister Benny Gantz states that “ministers who harm the security of the state should not sit in the cabinet.”

Speaking with reporters in the Knesset ahead of the start of the Passover holiday tomorrow evening, the war cabinet member and former IDF chief of staff insists that “critical discussions to advance the goals of the war must take place, even on Shabbat and holidays.”

Just as soldiers do not get a break on the battlefield, neither should the country’s leaders, he states, calling on his fellow politicians to “set a personal example, and certainly not engage in division or attempts to pass laws and decisions that harm our security and political interests.”

Israel’s focus should be on partnership and not on “favoring a sector or a group,” he continues, adding that “the freedom we gained as a people in the Exodus was only lost during periods of division between us.”

While Israel has had achievements on the battlefield, both in the south and along the Lebanon border, it is important to be honest with the public and admit that “we have not yet completed our goals,” he says, adding that Israel is approaching a “decision point” as to how to proceed militarily in the north.

“I appeal from here to the evacuees, who will also celebrate the Seder night outside their homes, and I promise – we see you, we recognize the enormous difficulty and your great courage. We will work to bring you home safely, even before the start of the next school year,” he states.

In what appears to be a threat aimed at Hamas’s top leadership in Qatar, Gantz states that “Hamas terrorists, brutal murderers, should know that they are not immune anywhere — not in tunnels, not in luxury hotels.”

Turning to the day-after in Gaza, Gantz asserts that “the regional coalition led by the United States that has proven itself against Iran, must be part of our action plan for a strategic reversal in the Middle East, and part of the day after in the Gaza Strip.”

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