Benny Gantz, a member of the country's wartime cabinet, departs after announcing his resignation during a press conference on June 9 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

JERUSALEM — Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Israel’s three-man war Cabinet, announced his resignation on Sunday, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of mismanaging the war effort and prioritizing his own “political survival” over the country’s security needs.

While Gantz’s resignation does not immediately pose a threat to Netanyahu’s hold on power, as he retains a majority coalition in parliament, it makes him more reliant on far-right allies who oppose the recent U.S.-backed cease-fire proposal and advocate for continuing the war.

“Unfortunately, Netanyahu is preventing us from achieving true victory, which is the justification for the painful and ongoing price,” Gantz stated. He accused Netanyahu of making “empty promises” and argued that Israel needs to adopt a different course of action, given his expectation that the fighting will continue for years to come.

The former military chief, a popular figure, joined Netanyahu’s government shortly after the Hamas attack as a gesture of unity. His presence also bolstered Israel’s standing with its international partners. Gantz enjoys good working relationships with U.S. officials.

Gantz had previously declared that he would leave the government by June 8 if Netanyahu failed to formulate a new plan for postwar Gaza.

He canceled a planned press conference on Saturday evening after four Israeli hostages were rescued from Gaza earlier that day in Israel’s largest such operation since the eight-month war began. At least 274 Palestinians, including children, were killed in the assault, according to Gaza health officials.

Gantz called for Israel to hold elections in the fall and urged the third member of the war Cabinet, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, to “do the right thing” and resign from the government as well. Gallant has previously expressed his willingness to resign if Israel chose to reoccupy Gaza and encouraged the government to develop plans for a Palestinian administration.

On Saturday, Netanyahu had urged Gantz not to leave the emergency wartime government.

“This is the time for unity, not for division,” he said, appealing directly to Gantz.

Gantz’s decision to leave is primarily “a symbolic move” driven by his frustration with Netanyahu, according to Gideon Rahat, chairman of the political science department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He pointed out that this could further increase Netanyahu’s reliance on extremist, right-wing members of his government, led by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

“I think the outside world, especially the United States, is not very happy about it, because they see Gantz and his party as the more responsible people within this government,” Rahat said.

On Sunday evening, Ben-Gvir demanded a spot in the war Cabinet, claiming that Gantz and the smaller Cabinet had mishandled the war effort due to “dangerous” ideological decisions.

Hamas took some 250 hostages during the Oct. 7 attack that killed about 1,200 people. About half were released in a weeklong cease-fire in November. About 120 hostages remain, with 43 pronounced dead. At least 36,700 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between fighters and civilians.