‘Unity government not saving Israel, but only Netanyahu’: Opposition leader Yair Lapid

TEL AVIV: Israel Opposition leader Yair Lapid lashed out at the National Unity ministers Benny Gantz, Gadi Eisenkot and Gideon Sa’ar for leaving the coalition, alleging that they are “not saving” Israel but only Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Times of Israel reported.
Hitting out at the government, he further said that this government is “not qualified to lead the war” and Netanyahu is “not qualified to lead the country”.
“The former opposition lawmakers entered the government after October 7 because they believed it was in the best interest of the country. It may have been true three months ago. It is certainly not true now,” Times of Israel quoted Lapid as saying.
“This is not a unity government, this is not an emergency government. They are not saving the State of Israel, they are saving Netanyahu,” he added.
“For weeks now, the poison machine of Netanyahu and his aides has been attacking the chief of staff, the army, the commanders and the fighters. Every meeting of the cabinet turns into a poisonous attack on the army,” Lapid said, adding, “as long as they are there, as long as they sit under Netanyahu, they give [his actions] legitimacy.”
Meanwhile, another row erupted in Israeli politics over the remarks by National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who criticised Defence Minister Yoav Gallant over his remark that IDF will be shifting to a different phase of war in northern Gaza.
Yoav Gallant told Wall Street Journal that the IDF will be shifting from what he called the “intense manoeuvring phase of the war” towards “different types of special operations” in northern Gaza.
“We’re close to the next phase in the north, including Gaza City,” Gallant said.
Responding to this statement, Gvir said that such a statement is tantamount to an announcement “of the end of the war of subjugation and a transition to the war of attrition.”
“The small cabinet has no mandate to announce this,” he argues, referring to the war cabinet, which comprises Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz. “This is not how we will win!”
Earlier on Saturday, the IDF said it had completed the dismantlement of Hamas’ “military framework” in the northern Gaza Strip, Times of Israel reported.
Following the publication of Gallant’s interview, Gallant’s office issued a statement clarifying that the transition would start “soon”.

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