ISRAELI officials have said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the influential war cabinet that was tasked with steering the military assault in Gaza.

The war cabinet was dissolved following the departure from the government of Benny Gantz, an opposition legislator who had joined the coalition in the early days of the war.

He had demanded that a small cabinet be formed as a way to side-line far-right legislators in Netanyahu’s government.

Gantz, Netanyahu and defence minister Yoav Gallant were its members and made key decisions together throughout the war.

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The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the change with the media, said that going forward Netanyahu would hold smaller forums with some of his government members for sensitive issues.

Gantz, a long-time political rival of Netanyahu’s, joined the government as a show of unity after Hamas’ October 7 attack on southern Israel.

He left the government earlier this month, citing frustration with Netanyahu’s handling of the war.

Critics say Netanyahu’s wartime decision-making has been influenced by ultranationalists in his government who oppose a deal that would bring about a ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages.

They have voiced support for the “voluntary migration” of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and reoccupying the territory.

Netanyahu denies the accusations and says he has the country’s best interests in mind.