Benjamin Netanyahu Dissolves Israeli War Cabinet

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the six-member war cabinet amidst mounting political pressures and escalating conflict, marking a significant shift in the nation's wartime leadership

by Sededin Dedovic
Benjamin Netanyahu Dissolves Israeli War Cabinet
© Amir Levy / Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the dissolution of the six-member war cabinet, reports Reuters. Reports from Monday indicate that the Israeli leader made this decision public at a political-security cabinet meeting the previous evening.

Netanyahu's far-right coalition partners are advocating for the establishment of a new war cabinet after the more moderate Benny Gantz left the emergency government. Nationalist Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who are demanding that Israel continue bombing Gaza despite calls for restraint from allies including the US, have called for the formation of a new war cabinet.

Claiming that Netanyahu failed to present a post-war plan for the occupied and bombed Palestinian territory, which poses an obstacle to a "true victory," Gantz is calling for elections at a time when the prime minister is facing heavy pressure from the West to strike a deal with Hamas to secure the release of prisoners in Gaza.

However, the Israeli leader is also under pressure from his hardline coalition partners who do not want to end the war.

Yair Netanyahu Criticizes the Military and Intelligence Services

Yair Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister's son who lives in the US, took to Twitter to lash out at the Israeli military and intelligence services, suggesting they bear responsibility for Hamas's attack on Israel on October 7.

Reacting to the Israeli High Court's decision to suspend the investigation into possible failings by these institutions until October 7, Yair Netanyahu wrote: “What are they trying to hide? If there was no betrayal, why are they so afraid of external and independent parties checking what happened?” The younger Netanyahu, who actively comments on Israeli politics on social media, faced scorn for staying in the US while hundreds of thousands of Israelis were called up for service during the war.

His father has been heavily criticized for repeatedly refusing to take responsibility for his government's failure to prevent the October 7 attack. Earlier during the war, the prime minister shifted the blame to Israeli intelligence services.

The latest war report from the Israeli military states that troops continued operations in central Gaza, killing several fighters in close combat during the past day. Units, supported by air forces, also carried out missions in Rafah, killing more fighters, dismantling booby-trapped structures, and destroying a weapons depot, it says.

The latest Israeli military attacks in Gaza also killed numerous civilians, including at least five children in a house in the Bureij camp.

Netanyahu Faces Many Problems

The Israeli army is creating a new division for reservists over 40 to meet the "urgent need for more soldiers," said a correspondent for Israeli army radio.

The division of five reservist brigades is in an "advanced stage" of planning and will include Israelis who were previously exempted from military service, Doron Kadosh said in a post on the platform X. The Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Herzi Halevi, recently said that recruiting ultra-Orthodox Jews of conscription age is a “clear necessity” while visiting the site of a deadly Hamas ambush on Israeli troops in Gaza.

As previously reported, the Israeli government also supported a draft law to extend the retirement age for reservists despite public opposition in Israel. Israeli anti-government activists continue protests for the second day, as part of the declared "week of unrest," calling for new elections.

This morning, protesters blocked several highways and junctions in Israel, reports The Times of Israel. This includes Highway 1, the main road linking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, according to posts on Israeli social media.

Anti-Government Protesters Call For Gaza Hostage Deal© Alexi J.

Rosenfeld / getty Images

High school students in central Israel also walked out as part of the protest, writes The Times of Israel. At 7 p.m. local time, protesters will gather in front of the Knesset at a rally, after which they will march to the prime minister's residence.

War with Hezbollah Further Complicates the Situation

The Israeli army announced that it intercepted a “suspicious aerial target” launched from Lebanese territory toward northern Israel. It said the unspecified target was intercepted over the sea near the city of Acre and there were no reports of injuries or casualties.

In recent weeks, cross-border attacks between the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah and the Israeli army have intensified, raising concerns that a full-scale war could break out. Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari warned that Israel is on the “edge” of a “wider escalation” amid “increasing aggression” from Hezbollah.

“Hezbollah is endangering Lebanon’s future so that it can act as a shield for Hamas,” said Hagari, adding that Hezbollah has fired “more than 5,000 rockets, anti-tank missiles, and armed drones from Lebanon” at Israel since October.

Despite his warnings, Hagari said Israel will ensure that Israelis displaced from northern Israel safely return to their homes, “one way or another”. Tens of thousands of Israelis have been staying in government-funded hotel rooms for months after evacuating their homes near Israel’s southern border with Gaza and northern border with Israel, according to reports from the Times of Israel.

The Israeli government announced on Sunday that it extended the hotel stays for Israeli evacuees from areas bordering Gaza until August 15, reported the Times of Israel.

Benjamin Netanyahu