Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman insists Israel will not return to the situation in which Hamas shoots and Israel responds.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said today that he has not ruled out returning control of Gaza to the United Nations (UN). “What will happen the day after? We should consider the possibility of returning control of Gaza to the UN. I am not ruling out this option, ” Liberman said at the opening of a meeting held by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. “The international community always comes with demands that Israel return to its 1967 borders and dismantle settlements. Yet, in the case of Gaza, we returned to those borders, and also dismantled all the settlements. And what have we gotten in return? 18, 000 missiles and rockets. We must wake up from the illusion that returning to 1967 borders guarantees quiet and stability.”
The foreign minister surveyed the options before Israel and said, “At this stage, we are reassessing the situation in Gaza, but the operation has not yet ended. From our perspective, there are a number of options for the future: one option is a series of arrangements, another option is making Hamas surrender, a third option is continuing this state of limbo in which they shoot and we respond. The third option is irrelevant, as far as I’m concerned, because it leaves Hamas with the initiative and you effectively only react. A normal country cannot run based on the whims of a terrorist organization. Regarding the first two options, of course the demands of the terrorist organizations in Egypt are a non-starter, ” said Liberman.
Liberman emphasized Israel’s objective has not changed: attaining quiet, eliminating the threat of rockets, and preventing the empowerment of Hamas. “As far as I’m concerned, there is no dissonance between the positions I am presenting publicly and those I express within the cabinet, ” said Liberman of political matters, and added, “it is a complex challenge. The diplomatic leeway that we have received until now was attained through the diplomatic efforts of members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – which has allowed the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to operate for four weeks already in Gaza. The fact is that until now, there have not been UN Security Council decisions regarding the operation, only press announcements. Today, every international forum that convenes understands the Israeli demand to demilitarize Gaza from rockets and tunnels. All the foreign ministers understand that the demand for demilitarization is more than legitimate. We have to be honest about it – our cooperation with the US has decisive weight, alongside our diplomatic activities.”
The foreign minister addressed the matter of foreign media reports and said, “Most of the international media reports on what goes on in Gaza focus on the civilian casualties, but here the reporting is not one-sided, also our narrative is represented. The media reporting from Gaza is cooperating with Hamas. You will not see the harm that comes to those who protest against Hamas, nor will you see the rocket fire from within mosques.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com