Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Liberman spoke to Arutz Sheva-Israel National News on Tuesday and criticized the conduct of the political echelon and defense establishment in the face of the violations by Hamas of the ceasefire agreement brokered by Qatar.
"There is something here that is really unacceptable. There is a continuation of the same concept - the same attitude of containment. They shot at IDF soldiers today, detonated explosives on them and there is no response. All this is also added to the news about a clause in the deal which says that the representatives of the Red Cross will visit the hostages who have not been released, and I see no sign of that.All the time the other side initiates, dictates our moves, and that's how they manage to make a laughingstock of us and we follow them and do not initiate anything," claimed Liberman.
Are you in favor of stopping the hostage deal and resuming the war?
"I am not saying at the moment whether to stop the deal. I am wondering, if you reached an agreement which stipulates that the Red Cross visits the hostages, where is it? The approach of containment is simply not changing. The second thing is what is happening in the north. We hear all the time only statements that Hezbollah did not move beyond the Litani River. When talking to the residents in the north, we need to make it clear to them that we, as a country, are determined to implement [UN Security Council] Resolution 1701, even unilaterally. The other side should listen to us and understand it. The same goes for the Red Sea with the Houthis. This is an essential maritime trade route for the State of Israel and it is simply impossibleto continue like this. Unfortunately, this is the picture on the ground."
"What I see is that [Mossad chief] David Barnea is in Qatar with the head of the CIA and they are talking about extending the ceasefire beyond two days. Meaning they agreed that there would be two more days and they are already talking about extending the ceasefire, when [Ismail] Haniyeh is one room away from them. It doesn't add up in my head. So what about the soldiers? They are already in Gaza. So now some of them are being discharged and they will be recruited once again? The message being conveyed to the soldiers is simply problematic."
Even though you are criticizing, you would be willing to sit with Netanyahu in the War Cabinet.When you are there, will it look different?
"I said that what I'm interested in is being in the War Cabinet. I don't want another ministry, nor a coalition agreement or anything like that. I'm here to voice the opposite opinion and that's why he doesn't invite me. He wants to hear himself. They're all part of the old concept - Bibi, Eizenkot, Gantz, and also the Chief of Staff and the head of the Shin Bet. After all, just a few days before the war broke out, they all said the same thing, that 'Hamas is deterred and not interested in a war.'"
"We must challenge them. We must voice a different position and they will have to face it. But don't worry, there is no fear that they will invite me. Right now the coalition between Likud and Blue and White is a coalition of the old concept."