(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Former defense minister and Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to a shooting attack at a bus in the West Bank settlement of Beit El on Saturday that lightly wounded one person.
“Another shooting attack. Again a person’s life is saved by a miracle. And again the response of the government of Israel is to transfer $15 million from Qatar to Hamas,” Liberman wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
“This is essentially the third installment of the protection money that the cabinet is sending to Hamas every month, claiming that the money is meant to improve the lives of the residents of Gaza,” he continued. “In fact, they are throwing sand in our eyes. The money is meant for building rockets, digging tunnels, terror attacks and murdering Jews. Gaza residents don’t see a single dollar of this protection money.
“Years ago, there was a strong and determined candidate for prime minister who claimed that Hamas rule in Gaza must be overturned, and that it is forbidden under any circumstances to transfer money to Hamas. It is a shame he is no longer with us. His name was Benjamin Netanyahu,” Liberman wrote.
In early November, Qatar brought three suitcases stuffed with $15 million in cash through the Erez crossing. In December, more money was transferred to pay the salaries of Hamas officials. A third tranche of money will be transferred shortly this month.
Egged bus drivers who drive in the region announced on Sunday they will go on strike following the attack. Four bullets were fired at the bus, and soldiers searched the area for the suspects. The driver was lightly injured by shards of glass.
“We warn that many drivers are considering stopping driving buses following recent events. Our blood is not free,” Israel Ganon, chairman of the bus drivers’ organization, said before the strike was announced.
“For months we have been warning about attempts to harm bus drivers in Judea and Samaria. We are strengthening the security forces in their attempts to find the terrorists.”
Captured soldiers' families protest payments to Hamas, January 6, 2018 (Hadar Sheli)
As part of the search for the individual who attacked the bus, IDF forces raided al-Bireh Saturday night and confiscated video footage in the al-Balu’a and a-Sana’a neighborhoods, according to Palestinian reports.
The IDF confirmed reports of clashes during an overnight raid in the city.
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