Liberman: We must turn over every stone before confronting Hamas

"Neither fuel nor salaries interest them," Liberman said. "The heads of Hamas themselves claim, 'We want to remove the siege."

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
October 25, 2018 08:45
1 minute read.
Avigdor Liberman speaks at a press conference, October 22, 2018

Avigdor Liberman speaks at a press conference, October 22, 2018. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that there is no escaping confrontation with Hamas, in an interview on Army Radio Thursday morning. 

However, the defense establishment  "must turn over every stone before any confrontation, so they will not say that I'm dragging Israel into battle because of my own agenda," he added.

"Neither fuel nor salaries interest them," Liberman said. "The heads of Hamas themselves claim, 'We want to remove the siege."

Liberman said that following Hamas' latest attacks by rockets and incendiary balloons, Egyptian negotiators reached out and asked the defense establishment to provide another chance for truce talks with Hamas.

A rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel on Wednesday evening, landing in the Eshkol Regional Council, according to the IDF.

Residents heard an explosion in the area. No casualties have been reported.

On Wednesday, Israel allowed Qatari-funded fuel into Gaza, even though Liberman had banned the fuel last week until Gaza violence was halted. Liberman claimed, however, that there seemed to be no choice but war in Gaza, adding that "anything less than the toughest response won't help anymore. We have exhausted the other options."

The Gaza power plant needs the fuel to help ease the electricity crisis in the Hamas-ruled enclave, where two million Palestinians live, using only four or five hours of electricity a day.

Education Minister Naftali Bennet called for a "zero tolerance policy" for Gaza violence in an address to the Institute for National Security Studies. "The security policy of a right-wing government is first to ensure security and only then agreements."

Zachary Keyser and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report


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