Looming captive offer threatens to divide Israel’s conservative Cabinet

Looming captive offer threatens to divide Israel’s conservative Cabinet

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TEL AVIV — As Hamas prepares to provide its decision on a proposed offer for a cease-fire and the releasing of more than a hundred captives in Gaza, ministers, political experts and individuals close to Israel’s prime minister state the accord threatens to tear apart the nation’s conservative Cabinet.

While Hamas deliberates, Israel’s war Cabinet is anticipated to talkabout the offer throughout a conference Sunday night, according to Israeli media.

But Itamar Ben-Gvir, the reactionary minister of nationwide security, threatened last week on X that “a reckless deal = the takingapart of the federalgovernment.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office in Jerusalem on Sept. 27, 2023.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his workplace in Israel on Sept. 27,2023 Abir Sultan / POOL/AFP bymeansof Getty Images

Hours after Ben-Gvir’s remarks, opposition leader Yair Lapid offered his center-left Yesh Atid Party to getin the Cabinet to rescue the union and the captive offer if Ben-Gvir withdraws.

Even if the present federalgovernment makesitthrough, the dispute over the captive offer exposes extensive rifts in Israeli society. The offer pits dueling stories of Israel’s vision of itself versus each other: its solemn promise to its soldiers and residents that no one will be left behind, versus Israel’s oft-stated objective that it will damage its opponents at any expense.

“Where do you put the primacy in terms of those who state, appearance, if these captives aren’t focusedon, they will passaway in captivity and that will be ravaging for the Israeli public and it might actually rip the material of the Israeli social agreement,” stated David Makovsky, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a teacher in Middle East researchstudies at Johns Hopkins University. “The other side would state we’ve come this far to defeat Hamas, and if Israel withdraws before the task is done, Hamas will be pushed to do more Oct. 7s.”

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Looming over the discussion is the 2011 offer by Netanyahu to release Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier whom Hamas held hostage in the Gaza Strip for more than 5 years. In exchange for Shalit’s flexibility, Israel launched more than a thousand Palestinian detainees in Israel, consistingof Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, who would go on to strategy and carryout the Oct. 7 attacks.

Ben-Gvir more separated himself from the Cabinet this weekend after he openly slammed U.S. President Joe Biden while applauding previous President Donald Trump in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. He likewise called on Israelis to transplant the Gaza Strip — an inflammatory position Netanyahu hasactually turneddown.

“It’s clear that he’s attempting to develop himself as the voice of the right wing,” said a senior federalgovernment authorities who asked to stay confidential duetothefactthat of a absence of permission to speak with the media. “You comprehend that right now, Netanyahu requires[Ben-Gvir] I wear’t understand about lateron, however right now he requires him.”

‘It will break the union and likewise the conservative public.’

The proposed structure of a offer, which was workedout a week ago in Paris by intelligence chiefs from Israel, the U.S. and Egypt as well as Qatar’s prime minister, would include a six-week timeout in the battling in the Gaza Strip, throughout which the 2 sides would exchange Israeli captives in Gaza for Palestinian

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