Minister Benny Gantz
Minister Benny GantzSpokesman

National Unity Party chairman Minister Benny Gantz commented on the government’s objection to the Egyptian outline for a deal to release the hostages.

"The entry into Rafah is important in the long struggle against Hamas. The return of our hostages, abandoned by the government on Oct. 7th, is vital and of far greater importance," Gantz declared.

According to Gantz, "If we reach a responsible outline for the return of the hostages, which is backed by all security forces, and does not involve the end of the war, and the ministers who led the government on Oct. 7th prevent it – this government will not have the right to continue to exist and lead the military campaign."

At the same time, opposition leader Yair Lapid attacked the objection of ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir to the outline offered by Egypt for a deal to release the hostages.

"This government has to choose: return the hostages alive, or keep Ben Gvir and Smotrich, maintain relations with the Americans or Ben Gvir and Smotrich, secure the Saudi deal or Ben Gvir and Smotrich, Israel's security or Ben Gvir and Smotrich," wrote Lapid in his X account.

Earlier, Chairman of the Religious Zionism party, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, attacked the Egyptian outline for a deal to release the hostages, in exchange for a ceasefire that would prevent the entry of Israeli military into Rafah.

Smotrich spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu in a videotaped message and said, "Mr. Prime Minister, all Egyptian mediation agreements that ended previous “rounds” of violence, leaving Hamas alive and kicking and enabling it to strengthen itself again and again, and massacre Israeli citizens in a way that has not happened since the Holocaust, is exactly what you have led to in the last two decades, and that is exactly, but exactly, what we have all promised not to do again."