Avigdor Liberman 370.
(photo credit: Yossi Zamir)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday that despite the government’s
decision to agree to a cease-fire on Wednesday, Israel would “eventually need to
overthrow the Hamas regime” in Gaza.
Liberman said in an interview with
Channel 2 that a ground operation in Gaza would entail reoccupying the Gaza
Strip, and partaking in such an effort only two months before an election was
the wrong move.
“The occupation of Gaza and the overthrow of Hamas is a
process that would take more than four months.”
Liberman added that the
government decided to agree to the cease-fire despite the fact that they knew
“the public was against it.”
The foreign minister said that the
cease-fire was the best agreement Israel could have made at this time. He said
that Israel had met its three goals for the mission: stopping rocket fire on the
South, regaining Israel’s power of deterrence and destroying Hamas’s stock of
long-range Fajr 5 missiles.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday
rejected the notion that Israeli public opinion against a cease-fire agreement
with Hamas should have any bearing on the Israeli leadership’s decision-making
“We don’t have to listen to the public on these issues – the
leadership must make the decisions,” Barak said in an interview with Channel 2
when asked about the perceived unpopularity of the cease-fire among the
Barak expressed confidence that the cease-fire with Gaza factions
would be “relatively long,” adding that “Hamas did not truly achieve anything –
Israel has control of all the understandings with them.”
He rejected the
idea that the conflict ended in a victory for Hamas, stating that Gazans were
celebrating imaginary feats that did not actually occur, such as the alleged
shooting down of an Israeli F-16 and rockets falling in Tel Aviv and causing