Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu shifts war decision-making to security cabinet amid political changes

Netanyahu is expected to make critical war-related decisions during small ad hoc meetings, with final approval sought from the wider security cabinet.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a significant change in the decision-making process for the ongoing war against Hamas. According to an Israeli official speaking to ABC News, the government’s security cabinet will now be responsible for making key decisions about the conflict.

This shift comes approximately a week after Benny Gantz, one of the three core members of Netanyahu’s war cabinet, announced his intention to resign from both the coalition government and the prime minister’s war cabinet. Gantz’s decision marks a significant change in the structure of the decision-making body that has been steering Israel’s war efforts since October 11, just days after the surprise Hamas attack on October 7.

Under this new arrangement, Netanyahu is expected to make critical war-related decisions during small ad hoc meetings, with final approval sought from the wider security cabinet. This change potentially centralizes decision-making power while still maintaining a degree of oversight from the broader security apparatus.

In a separate but related development, the Israeli political security cabinet met on Sunday to discuss measures to strengthen settlements in the West Bank. This discussion was framed, in part, as a response to countries that have unilaterally recognized a Palestinian state since October 7. The cabinet also considered potential reactions against the Palestinian Authority for its actions in international bodies.

The meeting touched on sensitive geopolitical issues, coming in the wake of the recent recognition of Palestine as a state by Spain, Ireland, and Norway at the end of May. Additionally, a UN General Assembly resolution in early May saw 143 of 193 members voting in favor of granting Palestinians full-member status at the United Nations.

However, the cabinet’s discussions did not result in immediate action. The Israeli minister  and the Deputy Prime Minister requested additional time to provide their input. Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to bring all proposals to a vote at the next cabinet meeting.