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Israeli Cabinet Minister's Trip to Washington Sparks Rebuke from Netanyahu amid Gaza Crisis

A top Israeli Cabinet minister's visit to Washington has stirred controversy within Israel's government, highlighting the deepening divisions over the handling of the ongoing crisis in Gaza. Benny Gantz, a centrist political figure who joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government early in the conflict with Hamas, traveled to the United States for talks with U.S. officials.

The trip, which was not authorized by Netanyahu, has sparked rebuke from the prime minister, signaling growing tensions within the Israeli government nearly five months into the war with Hamas. Gantz's visit comes amid disagreements between Netanyahu and President Joe Biden over efforts to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and develop a post-war plan for the region.

While talks aimed at brokering a cease-fire in Gaza were underway in Egypt, Israel did not send a delegation due to unanswered questions posed to Hamas regarding hostages and prisoners. In response to the crisis, the U.S. conducted aid airdrops into Gaza to circumvent logistical issues and Israeli restrictions on aid delivery.

The rift between Netanyahu and Gantz reflects broader divisions within the Israeli government, where ultranationalists dominate and moderate voices like Gantz's serve as a counterbalance. Netanyahu's leadership has faced criticism over his handling of the conflict and his proposed post-war plans for Gaza, which include maintaining Israeli security control over the territory.

Gantz's trip to the U.S. is seen as an attempt to strengthen ties with Washington, garner support for Israel's military campaign, and push for the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza. However, Netanyahu's camp has expressed disapproval of Gantz's unilateral decision to visit Washington without authorization.

Amid the political turmoil, public dissatisfaction with Netanyahu's government has grown, with thousands protesting in recent days for early elections. The ongoing fighting in Gaza continues to exact a heavy toll, with airstrikes killing dozens of civilians, including women and children.

As the crisis in Gaza persists, the political rifts within Israel's government threaten to deepen, potentially leading to broader unrest and instability.

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