Gantz: Netanyahu Hindering Prisoner Exchange Deal in Gaza for Political Reasons

Former member of Israel's three-man war Cabinet, Benny Gantz (AP)
Former member of Israel's three-man war Cabinet, Benny Gantz (AP)
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Gantz: Netanyahu Hindering Prisoner Exchange Deal in Gaza for Political Reasons

Former member of Israel's three-man war Cabinet, Benny Gantz (AP)
Former member of Israel's three-man war Cabinet, Benny Gantz (AP)

Benny Gantz, former member of Israel's three-man war Cabinet, said on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu obstructed a prisoner exchange deal with Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip for “political reasons.”
In an interview with Israel’s public broadcaster, Gantz said that “for many months, there has been a consensus about the battle and what needs to be done... And over time, this approach has changed and we've seen other considerations.”
He said that in a prisoner swap deal, the war cabinet agrees on a certain parameter, which is then approved and ratified by Netanyahu. “We then transfer this parameter to Israel’s negotiation team,” Gantz explained.
However, he added, Netanyahu was under pressure and he stopped the negotiating team from accomplishing the task.
The former member of the war cabinet considered that Netanyahu delayed the prisoner exchange deal based on personal political calculations.
Commenting on the escalation of tension between Israel and Hezbollah, Gantz said he prefers a political settlement on the northern border with Lebanon rather than continuing and intensifying the war.
“I understand this is a tough war, but perhaps it's inevitable. If we can stop it with political pressure, we will, and if that doesn't work, we have to move on,” he affirmed.
Last Sunday, Gantz announced his resignation from the war cabinet. He had previously said he would leave the government if Netanyahu did not formulate a new plan for postwar Gaza, AFP reported.
In a televised address, Gantz announced: “(Benjamin) Netanyahu is preventing us from progressing to a real victory. That is why we are leaving the emergency government today with a heavy heart.”
He then called for an agreed-upon date for early parliamentary elections. “There should be elections that will eventually establish a government that will win the trust of the people and be able to face challenges. I call on Netanyahu: set an agreed election date.”
On Sunday evening, right-wing National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir Ben-Gvir demanded a spot in the war Cabinet to replace Gantz.

 



Gaza Health Ministry: 70 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Fire in Khan Younis

Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
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Gaza Health Ministry: 70 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Fire in Khan Younis

Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Seventy Palestinians were killed and more than 200 wounded by Israeli fire on the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, Gaza's Health Ministry said on Monday.

It said some of the wounded were in a "dangerous condition.”

Another strike hit outside Al-Aqsa Hospital in the central town of Deir-Al-Balah, where many people were living in tents on the street, killing one person and wounding three.

The attacks came as the Israeli military ordered the evacuation of part of a crowded area in the Gaza Strip it had designated a humanitarian zone, saying it is planning an operation against Hamas militants there. The order triggered a new flight of Palestinians, many of whom had taken refuge there just in the past weeks.

The Health Ministry said the toll from Israel’s nine-month war against Hamas in Gaza has surpassed 39,000 Palestinians killed and 89,800 wounded.