Israel Agrees to Unity Government To Wage War on Hamas

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty Images)
October 11, 2023

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former defense chief and centrist opposition party leader Benny Gantz have agreed to form an emergency government, a joint statement from Gantz's National Unity party said on Wednesday.

Terrorists from Islamist group Hamas invaded Israel from the Gaza Strip on Saturday in a surprise assault that killed at least 1,200 people, the deadliest Palestinian militant attack in Israeli history.

Israel has responded with a massive bombardment of Gaza that has killed 1,055, and deployed thousands of troops around the enclave amid growing expectations it will launch a ground invasion to destroy Hamas.

The sides agreed to form a war cabinet comprising Netanyahu, Gantz, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, the statement said, and during the fighting with Hamas in Gaza will not promote any unrelated policy or laws.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid was not expected to join the emergency government at this stage.

(Reporting by Maayan Lubell; editing by Alison Williams and Alex Richardson)