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Netanyahu dissolves Israeli War Cabinet

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Tel Aviv, June 17: Israeli officials said on Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the influential War Cabinet that was tasked with steering the war in Gaza.
The War Cabinet was dissolved following the departure from the government of Benny Gantz, an opposition lawmaker who had joined the coalition in the early days of the war. He had demanded that a small Cabinet be formed as a way to sideline far-right lawmakers in Netanyahu’s government. Gantz, Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant were its members and made key decisions together throughout the war.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the change with the media, said that going forward Netanyahu would hold smaller forums with some of his government members for sensitive issues.
Gantz, a longtime political rival of Netanyahu’s, joined the government as a show of unity after Hamas’ October 7 attack on southern Israel. He left the government earlier this month, citing frustration with Netanyahu’s handling of the war.
Critics say Netanyahu’s wartime decision-making has been influenced by ultranationalists in his government who oppose a deal that would bring about a cease-fire in exchange for the release of hostages. They have voiced support for the “voluntary migration” of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and reoccupying the territory.
Netanyahu denies the accusations and says he has the country’s best interests in mind.
Israeli arms exports
hit record in 2023
Israel’s defence exports reached a new record high last year, according to official figures.
The Defence Ministry said on Monday that Israeli arms exports amounted to the equivalent of about $12.9 billion in 2023 — the third year in a row that arms exports had broken records.
Israeli arms exports have doubled within the past five years.
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said: “Israel continues succeeding in its international cooperation and industrial defence exports even during a year marked by war.” According to the Ministry, 36 per cent of the revenue came from agreements in the field of missile and air defence systems.
Nearly 48 per cent of arms exports went to the Asia-Pacific region, 35 per cent to Europe and nine per cent to North America. Smaller percentages went to Latin America and to Arab countries with which Israel recently signed the so-called Abraham Accords, and to Africa, which accounted for just one per cent.
Germany has purchased the very long-range missile defence system Arrow 3 from Israel, which is due to be delivered in 2025.
Israel’s exports in 2023 are similar to Germany’s arms exports over the past year. (Agencies)

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