Liberman: Each Gaza Operation 'Strengthens' Hamas

Gaza terror group gets diplomatic boon and expands rocket reach in each campaign against Israel, says foreign minister.

Ari Yashar ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman spoke on Tuesday night, and in the wake of Operation Protective Edge appraised that the Gaza-based terror organization Hamas has gotten diplomatically and militarily stronger in each counter-terror campaign.

"Every campaign strengthens the organization politically," said Liberman, speaking at the World Summit for Counter-Terrorism, held by IDC Herzliya's International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT).

"The last operation, Protective Edge, was the third operation against Hamas, and in all three cases it survived," stated the foreign minister.

Liberman elaborated on the expanding military capabilities of Hamas, noting "if the range of the rockets in the first operation (2008-2009 Cast Lead) was 15 kilometers towards Sderot, in (2012) Pillar of Defense they already reached the edges of Tel Aviv and Rishon Letzion."

"Now the rockets have already gone past Hadera," said Liberman, referring to a northern town near Haifa located 165 kilometers (102 miles) from Gaza that was targeted by Hamas in the operation.

It is worth noting that Hamas said previous to the August 26 ceasefire that a truce with Israel would only be so as to prepare for the next terror war against the Jewish state. Indeed, Hamas has already renewed its construction of terror tunnels and rockets.

"There's more explosives in the rockets," added Liberman, commenting "the danger isn't only in (rocket) range - in each campaign like this the organization is strengthened politically."

Aside from Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's recent gloating of how the international media adopted the Hamas narrative, the Hamas head has enjoyed growing support in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled areas of Judea and Samaria as a result of the war.

"According to the polls, Hamas became the most popular among the Palestinian population. If elections were held today, Ismail Haniyeh would receive 66% support," remarked Liberman, referencing a poll conducted in Gaza, Judea and Samaria.

Liberman spoke about the difficulties in fighting terrorist organizations like Hamas, given that international treaties on warfare were written "after World War II; they're appropriate to a completely different period, when armies fought armies. Today the army of a Western country faces a terror organization."

"Decisions must be made - when they shoot at you from a school, a mosque, hospitals, what do you do?" posed Liberman. "Terrorism exploits all those measures of ethics of the free world."

Advancing his own proposal, Liberman called for a joint peace arrangement not just with the PA, but with the involvement of other Arab countries. Such a proposal was recently reported in claims that Egypt had offered the PA part of the Sinai Peninsula for a state - reports the PA and Egypt quickly denied.




top