Hawkish Danon Fired for Opposing Netanyahu's Acceptance of Gaza Truce

Dismissed former deputy defense minister says he will continue to fight for his principles and to ensure the survival of the Jewish state.

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Danny Danon.
Danny Danon.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon on Tuesday night over the latter's publicly declared opposition to cabinet's decision to accept a cease-fire with Hamas.

"At a time when Israel and the Israel Defense Forces are in the middle of a military campaign, it is unacceptable for the deputy minister of defense to attack the national leadership," Netanyahu said in announcing the dismissal.

Earlier in the day, Danan had announced that he would resign if the government accepted an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with Hamas in Gaza. The government accepted the proposal, but it was rejected by Hamas, leading to a continuation of the ongoing conflict.

In response to his dismissal, Danon said that the prime minister "does not accept that there are different viewpoints in [the Likud.] Netanyahu has humbled himself before [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] in the past, releasing 78 terrorists just to sit around the negotiating table with him."

Describing the proposed cease-fire as "very bad for Israel," Danon asked: "Which principles will [Netanyahu] compromise next? I did not fall in line – and will not fall in line – with the prime minister's leftist flacidity and will not sell my ideology for a ministerial bureau and car."

He added that the "hesitancy with which [Netanyahu] went into the military operation" was seen as defeatism and weakness by the rest of the world.

"The conditions of the cease-fire that were approved with the prime minister's support left millions of citizens within the range of thousands of missiles from Gaza."

Danon has been one of Netanyahu's fiercest critics in the Likud, standing for the party's leadership in 2007. He finished third. He entered the Knesset in 2009 and served as deputy speaker of the Knesset between 2009 and 2013.

In an August 2011 interview with Al Jazeera English, he said: "There is place only for one state on the land of Israel.... I do not believe in a two-state solution."

He was appointed deputy minister of defense in March 2013.

Following his dismissal, Danon vowed to "continue to act according to my principles, according to the principles of the Likud, and to represent millions of Jews who are not prepared to find themselves without a safe homeland for the Jewish people in another 20 years."

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