Liberman: 'Sniper deserves citation; photographer - reproach'

DM responds to shooting incident and attack on Syrian base attributed by international media to Israel.

Mordechai Sones,

"Used all characteristics of journalist"
"Used all characteristics of journalist"
צילום: Flash 90

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took part today in the inauguration ceremony of an emergency operation center in the Golan's capital, Katzrin, established with Defense Ministry assistance.

During the visit Liberman referred to the Syrian military base attack attributed to Israel: "What happened in Syria we certainly do not know ... If you mean that attack, I don't know what was there and who attacked ... I know one thing for certain: We won't allow Iranian entrenchment in Syria whatever the price.

"We have no other choice," Lieberman stressed. "To agree to Iran's establishment in Syria is like agreeing to give Iran a chokehold on our necks; I have no other comparison." Liberman emphasized and repeated his message: "To agree to Iranian consolidation in Syria is like agreeing to an Iranian chokehold around our necks and we won't allow it."

Liberman in Katzrin
Flash 90

"There are elements that can prevent this without use of military force, and I hope these elements will act and do the right thing," possibly referring to Russia. "They can prevent Iran from establishing itself without all the unnecessary friction," he said.

Liberman also referred to the clip allegedly documenting an Israeli sniper shooting at a demonstrator during clashes between IDF forces and Hamas marchers on the Gaza border last weekend: "First of all, the sniper deserves a citation, and the photographer deserves reproach; that really should be the most clear equation. The IDF is the most moral army in the world, but there's no doubt when you're at the front full of tension there's sometimes a need to release all the steam and there are emotions and that's understandable. But in the end the army, snipers, and soldiers are the best people of Israel and the IDF is the most moral army."

"Hamas uses civilians"
Flash 90

Later on, Liberman referred to claims that an Arab press photographer was unjustly killed by IDF fire on Friday. "As for the photographer, I said that the photographer, like you asked, was a terrorist, had a regular salary from 2011 and was senior in the military wing of Hamas. I hope those journalists and media outlets who've gone so far as to talk about the poor journalist who did his job faithfully will publish all the facts correctly.

"I repeat, this is a member of the military wing of Hamas, at a level equivalent to captain who was active for many years in Hamas, and he also used all the characteristics of a journalist. He wore a PRESS emblazoned vest and we once again saw how Hamas uses the media, ambulances, and all the patients, including cancer patients who are sent to Israeli hospitals, and we accept them out of humaneness and compassion. We don't expect any objectivity from the international community, but I do expect all the people of Israel, including journalists who cover IDF activities, to be open-minded and not closed," Liberman stressed.

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