Liberman: Israel should conduct 'thorough cleaning' in Gaza

In interview with Israel Radio hours after rockets fired from Gaza, former FM says Israel must consider reoccupying the Gaza Strip.

June 24, 2013 10:00
1 minute read.
FM Liberman speaks during Yisrael Beitenu meeting

FM Liberman speaks during Yisrael Beitenu meeting_311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Israel should seriously consider the reoccupation of the Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian rocket fire on the western Negev, former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman told Israel Radio on Monday.

Liberman, who currently heads the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that if Israel were to allow the status quo to persist, Hamas would amass a fleet of aircraft and missiles that would threaten populous coastal towns like Tel Aviv and Netanya.

"Hamas has no intention of reconciling with a Jewish presence in Israel," the chairman of the Yisrael Beytenu party said. "So we need to return to the Gaza Strip and conduct a thorough cleaning."

When asked if his position was supported by the prime minister and defense minister, Liberman said he did not know.

Liberman's remarks came hours after the Israel Air Force struck targets in Gaza in retaliation for Palestinian rocket fire that hit Israeli towns near the

Four rockets were fired towards the Bnei Shimon council area and Netivot. The Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted two rockets fired towards the Ashkelon Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported in the attacks.

As a result of the rocket fire, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also ordered the closing of the Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings between Israel and Gaza for the transport of commercial goods.

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