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Israeli centrist party proposes vote to dissolve parliament

Benny Gantz, a key member of Israel's War Cabinet and the top political rival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leaves after a meeting at the State Department, Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Washington. (Mark Schiefelbein / AP Photo) Benny Gantz, a key member of Israel's War Cabinet and the top political rival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leaves after a meeting at the State Department, Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Washington. (Mark Schiefelbein / AP Photo)
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JERUSALEM -

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz's centrist party proposed on Thursday holding a parliamentary vote on dissolving the parliament, but it was unclear whether he had enough support to bring about an early election.

The move follows an ultimatum that Gantz issued this month, demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree to a day-after plan for the Gaza war by June 8. He threatened to quit the coalition if no such plan was forthcoming.

Gantz joined Netanyahu's government shortly after the Hamas-led attack on southern Israeli communities on Oct. 7 last year that sparked the war in Gaza.

Gantz's centrist bloc split up in March and his party does not on its own control enough seats in parliament to bring down the ruling coalition.

Netanyahu's Likud responded to Gantz's latest move by saying that Israel needs unity and that disbanding the government would hurt the war effort.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, Editing by Dan Williams and Timothy Heritage)

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