Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman in Sderot, February 23, 2015.
(photo credit: COURTESY YISRAEL BEYTENU)
The IDF must destroy Hamas and the government must instate the death penalty for terrorists, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Monday, visiting a Sderot hilltop overlooking Gaza.
“Our central problem is the dangerous combination of releasing terrorists and not giving an order to eradicate the Hamas regime,” the Yisrael Beytenu chairman and aspiring defense minister said.
According to Liberman, terrorists do not have a deterrent if there is no death penalty, because they are sure they will be released in a future prisoner exchange, and while they sit in jail they can get college degrees and their families are paid by the Palestinian Authority.
“The way to put an end to this phenomenon is to do exactly what King Abdullah of Jordan did when the Jordanian pilot was murdered and burned by Islamic State terrorists,” he said.
Liberman praised the Jordanian King for executing Islamic State and al-Qaida terrorists, after footage of the pilot’s immolation was released earlier this month.
“That’s what Israel has to do if we want to put an end to this phenomenon,” Liberman emphasized.
The Yisrael Beytenu chairman brought up the idea of the death penalty for terrorists last week already, saying in an event on Saturday that Israel had released over 3,000 terrorists and doing so had harmed its deterrence, because it gave hope to anyone who wanted to attack.
On Friday, the party released a short video of terrorists making the “V for Victory” sign through the windows of the bus on which they were released from prison, with the text: “We don’t want to see these pictures. Death penalty for terrorists.”
As for Hamas, Liberman said Sunday that while Israel provides Gaza with electricity, Hamas is using it to rebuild attack tunnels and to create new missiles.
A fourth military operation in Gaza is only a matter of time, he said.
“How can we make the fourth round the last one? We have to give the IDF an order to destroy Hamas’s regime,” Liberman posited. “Without that, we cannot continue living regular lives. Every two years, more or less, we have an operation and four million people run to bomb shelters. Every two years, we stop school and work in factories. No reasonable country can allow this.
“We cannot preach to the whole world on how to fight terrorism if we cannot defeat and eliminate the terrorism right under our noses. We can’t talk about Iran, when we can’t solve the problem of Hamas, two seconds from Sderot,” he added.
Liberman said that any plan to destroy Hamas must include consideration of what will happen the next day and who will be in charge of Gaza, but he refused to elaborate on the matter, saying that is a discussion that should take place in the Security Cabinet, not in the press.