Liberman: Gaza border quiet is deceptive, Hamas seeks Israel's destruction

Defense minister tours border communities as bombshell report on 2014 Gaza war set to be released.

January 31, 2017 14:27
1 minute read.
Avigdor Liberman

Liberman and Eisenkot at IDF Southern Command. (photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI / DEFENSE MINISTRY)


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The relative quiet enjoyed by Israelis living in communities on the border with the Gaza Strip is deceptive, and another armed conflict with Hamas could break out any minute, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned on Tuesday as he toured the area.

“Hamas and the rest of the groups in Gaza have not abandoned their desire to destroy Israel and to harm us,” he said during meetings with the heads of the regional councils.

Liberman, in his fourth visit to the area since becoming defense minister last year, said that the only thing keeping Hamas from instigating a war with Israel is the fact that “they know that the balance of power is not in their favor and if they act against us, they will pay a very heavy price.”

The minister said that if the balance of power shifts, Hamas will not hesitate for a moment to attack Israel.

Liberman’s comments came days after a Knesset subcommittee announced on Sunday that it had approved publishing the State Comptroller’s Report on the 2014 Gaza war.

According to pundits, the report is expected to be a political bombshell for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in terms of his reputation as “Mr.

Security,” with the increased possibility of the government toppling as another blow to his reputation fuels rivals waiting for the right moment to strike.

Netanyahu’s biggest and recent critics regarding the report have been Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, but at earlier stages Liberman and former Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar also slammed the prime minister.

No information has been provided about when the report will be released to the public, but a source indicated that the subcommittee must review two additional sub-reports before a date is set, which could take several days or even weeks.

Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

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