Liberman to resign as Defense Minister?

Israeli defense minister sparks speculation with sudden announcement of upcoming public statement scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

David Rosenberg ,

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
Marc Israel Sellem/Fash90

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has called a special meeting of the Yisrael Beytenu (Israel Is Our Home) party, to be capped off with a major public announcement Wednesday afternoon.

News of the planned public statement, revealed Wednesday morning, fueled widespread speculation that Liberman may be planning to resign as Defense Minister.

Liberman’s statement, which is to be made at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, following an hour-long meeting of party officials at noon, comes less than 24 hours after reports that Israel signed a ceasefire agreement with the Hamas terrorist organization, ending a two-day conflict.

Some 500 rockets and mortar shells were launched from the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave towards Israel since Sunday night, following an incident in the southern Gaza Strip between an elite IDF special forces unit and a cell of Hamas terrorists. One person was killed and nearly 60 more injured in the rocket attacks.

One IDF officer was killed in the incident, and a second officer wounded. Seven Hamas terrorists, including a senior officer in Hamas’ military wing, were also killed in the battle.

The Defense Minister’s office has not released any details regarding the content of Liberman’s upcoming statement, and refused to comment on rumors he intends to resign his position as Defense Minister.

On Tuesday, Liberman’s office denied claims by the Prime Minister’s Office that the Defense Minister had backed the ceasefire agreement. The PMO had claimed that the security cabinet unanimously approved the proposed ceasefire.

“The reports of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s supposed support for the ceasefire in Gaza are ‘fake news’,” his office claimed.

“The Defense Minister’s position is unchanged and remains the same.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) also challenged the PMO’s claims of a unanimous decision in favor of the ceasefire.