ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 138

search

Ministers said to confront Smotrich and Ben Gvir for opposing hostage deal

Religious Zionist party leader MK Bezalel Smotrich (right) with Otzma Yehudit party leader MK Itamar Ben Gvir in the Knesset plenum, December 28, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Religious Zionist party leader MK Bezalel Smotrich (right) with Otzma Yehudit party leader MK Itamar Ben Gvir in the Knesset plenum, December 28, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Several tense exchanges have reportedly occurred during the ongoing cabinet vote on a deal that will see Hamas release some 50 hostages — children, mothers, and women — in exchange for a ceasefire of 4-5 days and the release of 150-300 Palestinian prisoners.

According to leaks reported by Hebrew media, Minister Benny Gantz responds angrily to Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich for expressing concern Hamas will seek to extend the ceasefire. Smotrich and his far-right Religious Zionism party have come out against the agreement.

“Do you trust [Yahya] Sinwar more than us?” Gantz is quoted as saying, referring to the Hamas chief in Gaza who Israel has accused of helping mastermind the October 7 massacres.

In another exchange, Likud ministers Miki Zohar and Gila Gamliel confront National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir for holding a faction meeting of his ultranationalist Otzma Yehudit party before the cabinet convened, after announcing he and his faction would vote against the agreement. Gamliel reportedly stresses to Ben Gvir the importance of unity.

“But we are not united,” Ben Gvir says. “This is a decision with generational damage that will come back to hurt us badly.”

Ministers from the ultra-Orthodox Shas party have left the meeting after leaving a note saying they back the agreement.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.