Lieberman: Gaza ceasefire is not in Israel's interests
LAST UPDATED: 04/11/2011 08:26
FM says Hamas "took advantage of quiet to smuggle more weapons"; Landau: We must exploit Hamas's fear of losing control in Gaza.
Avigdor Lieberman Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke out against a ceasefire with Hamas on Monday morning, following renewed violence emanating from the Gaza Strip in the past four days.
an interview with Israel Radio, he said, "Hamas is fighting a war of
attrition against us. We won't come to terms with a situation in which
they decide when there's quiet and when the area heats up."
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added that a ceasefire with Hamas is against Israel's national
interests. He said he is working to implement the coalition
agreement, which says that the government will work towards overthrowing
"We are going to do what was agreed upon. We know how to get what was in
the agreement and what we signed with Likud, without threats and
and without crises," he said on Israel Radio, adding that he is not interested in
leaving the coalition.
"There was quiet, and Hamas took advantage of the quiet in order to
smuggle more and more weapons. We remember when Kassams only had a range
of 20 k.m.; today they reach Beersheba and Ashdod and in the end
they'll reach Tel Aviv," Lieberman explained.
The foreign minister went on to say that Hamas has exploited the two years of relative calm since 2008-9's Operation Cast Lead to rearm and organize. "Hamas took advantage of
the quiet in order to gain power and turn a gang of terrorists into an
organized army," Lieberman said, warning that with "another [military] battalion and another company and they will truly
follow Hezbollah's model."
National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau, also of Israel Beiteinu, echoed Lieberman's calls to use force in order to deter Hamas, saying that "We should have finished the job during Operation Cast Lead."
Landau opined that the IDF needs to play on Hamas's fear of losing power and influence amongst the Palestinian population. "If we really want to deter Hamas, we must exploit their fear of losing control in the strip," Landau said. He added, "our targets need to be their leaders."