Liberman: A new policy against Hamas

Defense Minister says Israel has changed its way of fighting Hamas since he assumed office, said Iran is source of security threats.

Gary Willig ,

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
Picture taken from Defense Minister's Facebook page

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman held a live chat with supporters on his Facebook page Sunday, during which he was asked about his promise to have Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh killed within 48 hours of becoming Defense Minister.

"The wisdom is to act responsibly and with determination," Liberman replied. "Talk to me about Haniyeh at the end of my tenure as Defense Minister."

Liberman said that "we are conducting a new policy against Hamas in a responsible and determined manner, and anyone who sees our actions [will realize that it] is another kind of policy, one of determination and responsibility."

In response to a question about when the incitement against haredi soldiers will stop and what the government is doing against the inciters, Liberman said: "I personally monitor lone haredi soldiers and Bedouin soldiers who face difficult challenges, and every case [of incitement] that comes to our attention will be dealt with a strong hand. We are not allowing anyone [to get away with incitement against soldiers]. It is true that it is difficult to bring evidence, but all [the evidence] we have I bring to the court. I take these matters very seriously. Those who incite [against soldiers] must be held accountable."

Liberman also addressed Israel's policies regarding the treatment of the Arab population in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, as well as construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. "We need a combination of strength and brains, sophistication combined with determination and responsibility, and we are trying to do good to those who do not violate the law while dealing harshly with whoever tries to harm us. It is a carrot and stick approach. We have approved the construction of 6,000 housing units for Jews in Judea and Samaria, far beyond what we have seen in decades. There are 1,000 housing units already under construction, another 2,500 which are undergoing examination of the cost of development and are being marketed, and another 2,500 which are in various stages of planning. We have increased the number of entry permits for Palestinians, and [have approved the construction of] soccer fields and other humanitarian structures [in Arab towns]."

The Defense Minister said that Israel's security challenges could be traced to the Iranian regime, which supports Hamas in Gaza and controls Hezbollah in Lebanon in addition to the threat of its nuclear weapons program. "Iran is a dangerous terrorist state not only for Israel, but for the entire world. All of these terrorist organizations could not exist without Iranian support."