Far-right allies warn Netanyahu won't continue as PM without Rafah incursion

Hawkish ministers Ben-Gvir and Smotrich protest as IDF withdraws from southern Gaza and cease-fire talks in Cairo pick up steam

Amid reports on progress in cease-fire negotiations and IDF scaling down its presence in the Gaza Strip, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir on Monday placed an ultimatum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue the war against Hamas.
"If the prime minister decides to end the war without a broad attack on Rafah in order to defeat Hamas, he will not have a mandate to continue serving as prime minister," Ben-Gvir posted on X.
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סמוטריץ', נתניהו ובן גביר
סמוטריץ', נתניהו ובן גביר
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich
(Photo: EPA, AFP)
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich summoned ministers and lawmakers from his ultranationalist Religious Zionist Party for an urgent consultation on the incoming reports.
Smotriched addressed a letter to Netanyahu, writing, "Following the withdrawal of troops from Gaza and the general reduction in the intensity of the war, along with long delays in entering Rafah, reports of Israel's readiness to discuss the return of Gaza civilians to the northern Strip effectively ending the war, and publications about granting a significantly broad mandate to negotiation teams, I demand that you convene a special Cabinet meeting tonight for a full update and comprehensive information on the war's status."
Coalition party sources say they believe that Netanyahu is "phasing out the war" and does not intend to fulfill his promises of "dismantling Hamas" and achieving "total victory."
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