Regev: Liberman should apologize for Haniyeh still being alive

Culture and Sport Minister reiterates her objection to removal of metal detectors from Temple Mount, plays down Liberman criticism.

Hezki Baruch,

Miri Regev
Miri Regev
Ofer Amram

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) reiterated on Saturday night that she believes the Cabinet's decision to remove the magnetometers from the Temple Mount was a mistake.

"I stand by my position and by my firm statement that removing the magnetometers and security cameras was an unfortunate and delusional mistake," said Regev. "The recommendation of the Shin Bet and the intimidation of the political echelon damaged the deterrent power as well as Israel's sovereignty over the Temple Mount.”

"As someone who worked closely with the secret security organizations of the State of Israel, I know how to cherish their work and know that the Shin Bet has many rights. At the same time, they are not immune to criticism, and it is even permissible for the political echelon not to accept their recommendation,” she continued.

“We have already seen that intelligence concepts can also collapse and I will mention only one of them: The position of Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon in 1996, just before the opening of the Western Wall Tunnels, which claimed that the opening would not lead to riots. He claimed and he was wrong. It is the duty of the political echelon to weigh all the considerations and finally to formulate a policy that does not necessarily align with the intelligence and security forces.”

Regev mocked Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who earlier on Saturday demanded that she apologize to the Shin Bet for criticizing the organization over its recommendation to remove the magnetometers.

"Speaking of the Defense Minister's demand for an apology, I demand that he apologize to the citizens of Israel for the fact that Ismail Haniyeh still speaks and incites in Gaza," she said, referring to Liberman's promise that, if he is appointed Defense Minister, he will eliminate the senior Hamas leader within 48 hours.

Liberman has been subject to criticism and mocking from other MKs due to his failure to keep this promise.

He recently appeared to backtrack on this promise, telling supporters on his Facebook page that Israel has changed the way it fights Hamas and adding, "Talk to me about Haniyeh at the end of my tenure as Defense Minister."