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Liberman Fires: 'Even Far-Leftists Would Topple Hamas'

Foreign minister echoes growing criticism of PM allowing Hamas to 'take the initiative', calls for decisive action ahead of Cabinet meeting.
By Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 8/20/2014, 11:33 AM

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) on Wednesday weighed in on the resumption of Hamas's rocket war against Israel, finding Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's policy at fault ahead of a 2 p.m. Security Cabinet discussion of the situation.

"I hope that now it's clear to everyone that the policy of 'quiet will be met by quiet' means that Hamas is the initiator and the one deciding when, where and how it will fire on Israeli residents," wrote Liberman on his Facebook page.

In the current state of affairs, Liberman noted that in Israel "we content ourselves with responses, which even if they are strong are still just responses."

Continuing in his illustration of the current situation, Liberman added: "Hamas controls the height of the flames and the timing that is convenient for it to interrupt the daily routine of Israeli residents in general, and residents of the south in specific."

"It happened yesterday, it's happening today, and it could happen on September 1 and also Rosh Hashana evening," stated the foreign minister, referring to the Jewish New Year which falls on September 24 this year.

Liberman's criticism of Netanyahu's policy follows in the wake of MK Danny Danon's (Likud) similar statements Wednesday morning, in which he said "the policy of 'quiet will be met by quiet' brought about the humiliation of Israel."

No unilateral gestures

Criticism of the prime minister's handling of the Gaza crisis has come from both sides of the spectrum, with left-wing Labor MK Erel Margalit accusing Netanyahu of "paralyzing Israel" through indecisive leadership.

Referring to the recent Egyptian truce proposal, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas delegation amendments to it, Liberman pointed out the proposal "has no unequivocal agreement or obligation by the Palestinians to quiet now and going forward, meaning this is a war of attrition, something Israel must not be dragged into."

The foreign minister went on to state that recent proposals for unilateral steps that include concessions to Gaza are made by "politicians suffering from amnesia."

"I will remind everyone of a unilateral process called 'the Disengagement' already taken in Gaza, whose results we are paying for to this day," said Liberman, referring to the expulsion of all Jews from Gaza in 2005.

Israel on Sunday unilaterally lifted the ban on fishing in Gaza, despite the security threat of infiltration by sea and naval arms smuggling, just two days before Hamas breached the ceasefire.

Liberman added tongue-in-cheek "even if G-d forbid (Meretz Chairperson MK) Zehava Galon was the prime minister, and (communist Hadash party MK) Dov Hanin served as defense minister, they too in the end would order a wide military campaign to bring down the Hamas regime."

"Therefore, when speaking seriously about the security of Israeli citizens, we must understand that there is no possibility other than a decisive Israeli move for one purpose - to subdue Hamas," concluded Liberman.