Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar on Friday issued a challenge to incoming Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who was given his request to take the post as a condition of having his Yisrael Beytenu party join the coalition government.

The senior terrorist expressed scorn towards Liberman's statements in recent weeks, according to which if the bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin are not returned by Hamas, he will eliminate Hamas's leadership.

"If Liberman is a real man, let him approach Gaza," scoffed al-Zahar while speaking to reporters, terming Liberman a "coward."

"If Gaza will want to hunt him, it will hunt him," he added in a threat.

Last month Liberman declared that if he were appointed Defense Minister, he would order the assassination of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh within 48 hours if Hamas does not return the bodies of the IDF soldiers that have been held ever since 2014 Operation Protective Edge.

In response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offering Liberman the post of Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud), Ya'alon on Friday resigned, rejecting an offer to become Foreign Minister and vowing to return and contend for the leadership.