Clip from Likud ISIS-themed campaign video
Clip from Likud ISIS-themed campaign video Screenshot

The Islamic State group will not be defeated on the battlefield alone but by teaching tolerance and creating economic opportunity, Germany's Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Saturday.

"We should complement the coalition against terror with a coalition for education," Ursula von der Leyen told a Gulf security conference.

She said members of the US-led coalition fighting the jihadists needed to counter the "brutal lies" of ISIS with a message of hope for a better future.

"Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and many more platforms have been weaponized," she told the Manama Dialogue. "People without prospects are easily led to believe such false promises and such brutal lies.

"To win the war we have to dominate the Internet. But to win peace we have to offer hope and prospects."

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian echoed the theme in an address to the same forum.

He, too, said the jihadists could not be defeated by military means alone, as they fed off poverty and underdevelopment.

France has carried out air strikes against IS in both Iraq and Syria and has military advisers on the ground.

Germany has provided weapons and training to Kurdish peshmerga fighters taking part in the campaign against ISIS in northern Iraq.

Retired US general David Petraeus, a candidate for secretary of state under President-elect Donald Trump, said that although ISIS and its self-proclaimed caliphate will be defeated in Iraq and Syria, "we cannot put a stake through the heart of the ideological caliphate that is out there in cyberspace."

Petraeus, who led the US troop surge in Iraq from 2006 to 2008, said education, rule of law and inclusive governance are among the non-military elements needed for success.

"You can't just drone strike and Delta force your way out of this problem," he said.

Though the international community has for decades believed terrorism in Israel is driven by poverty and lack of opportunities, terrorist groups, including Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, educate children to become terrorist, glorifying terror and making it more attractive, as well as paying terrorists' salaries.

Funding given to these organizations and areas does not go to the citizens themselves but rather to the leaders' pockets and to fund more terror activity.

As well, the terror attacks on the World Trade Center carried out by Al-Qaeda on September 11, 2001, were carried out by college-educated pilots who received millions of dollars each month.