Reports: In ruse to Hamas, Gantz may have planned to nix press conference from the start

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"

War cabinet minister Benny Gantz may have scheduled this evening’s ultimately canceled press conference — in which he was widely expected to quit the government — in order to allay Hamas suspicions about today’s hostage rescue operation in Gaza.

According to Hebrew media, citing unnamed sources close to Gantz, the National Unity party leader had intended to cancel his announcement from the beginning — despite real tensions between him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — as Gantz was reportedly privy in real-time to details of the planned operation.

That raid ended with security forces rescuing four hostage taken from Israel on October 7.

Last month, Gantz went on television to issue an ultimatum to Netanyahu, threatening to withdraw from the coalition unless the premier commits to an agreed-upon vision for the Gaza conflict by this evening. His party later submitted a bill to dissolve the Knesset. Yesterday, he announced a press conference for this evening, which was called off hours ago.

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