Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has been very critical of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's handling of Operation Protective Edge, and there are some in the political establishment who think he is planning on bolting the government in protest over Netanyahu's failure to decimate Hamas.
But Liberman put those rumors to rest Sunday. In an interview on CNN, Liberman said that he was not planning on causing new elections by dropping out of the coalition. “I am in a minority in this government,” he said. “But I continue to support it. Now is not the right time for elections.”
The Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, which teamed up last year for the elections, officially parted ways several weeks ago. At the same time, Liberman began harshly criticizing Netanyahu over what he said was the Prime Minister's mishandling of the war. It appeared that the split between the two was irresolvable, but on Sunday Liberman backed down, saying that there was still hope for him and Netanyahu to work together.
With that, Liberman continued to call for the IDF to act more harshly against Hamas, and reiterated that in his opinion there was no choice but to retake Gaza. The purpose of doing so, he said, would not be to hold Gaza, but to install a more moderate government. Liberman also slammed Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in the interview, saying that Israel needed a true partner for peace, and Abbas was not it.