Liberman announces resignation
Liberman announces resignationYonatan Sindel, Flash 90

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday sent an official letter to the prime minister following his announcement yesterday that he intends to resign from the government.

Liberman announced Wednesday afternoon that he would resign his position in the Netanyahu government, and that he will call for new elections.

"I'm here to announce my resignation as Defense Minister for the State of Israel,” Liberman told reporters at a press conference.

“The question is why now. As far as I'm concerned, what happened yesterday, the ceasefire yesterday, with the negotiations with Hamas, amounts to a capitulation to terrorism. There's no other way to describe it. It has no other meaning, it is simply a capitulation to terror."

Liberman cited a number of areas of disagreement between himself and Prime Minister Netanyahu, which he said culminated in Wednesday’s decision.

"It is no secret that over the past few months, there have been disagreements between myself and the Prime Minister. For instance, my opposition to the [decision] to permit fuel from Qatar to be allowed into the Gaza Strip. I did not want to permit Qatari fuel in [to Gaza]. I thought that this is a mistake. Only after the Prime Minister made a formal written order was I forced to allow Qatari fuel into the Strip."

Israel recently okayed the transfer of fuel purchased by Qatar into the Gaza Strip, and allowed the transfers to continue even as Hamas forces launched rockets into southern Israel.

The Qatari fuel transfers have allowed the sole power plant in the Hamas-controlled enclave to provide electricity to residents, despite the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to pay for power transfers from Israel to the Strip. The PA has demanded Hamas restore the Strip to full PA control.

Liberman also cited the recent coalition decision, pushed by Netanyahu, to delay implementation of a Supreme Court order to demolish the illegal Bedouin encampment of Khan al-Ahmar east of Jerusalem.

"The same thing happened with the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar. With the takeover by a Bedouin tribe of a strategic area between Maale Adumim and the Dead Sea on Highway 1, I thought it was imperative that we evacuate it. Sadly, in this case as well, the Prime Minister issued a direct order and blocked the evacuation."