Liberman was not as hawkish as he claims, Security Cabinet ministers say

“I don’t ever remember him asking the IDF to present alternatives, for a broader attack,” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan added.

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November 18, 2018 12:24
1 minute read.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman . (photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI / DEFENSE MINISTRY)

 
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Avigdor Liberman did not push for an aggressive response to Hamas in Gaza, Security Cabinet ministers said, contradicting his reasoning for resigning from the Defense Ministry.

“Liberman never said he had any dispute with the prime minister, and then in recent weeks he started to present an extreme view about a truce [with Hamas],” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Army Radio on Sunday. “Before that, he was part of the ceasefire talks, including talks with Cyprus about building a port for Gaza.

“I don’t ever remember him asking the IDF to present alternatives for a broader attack,” Erdan added.

Security cabinet meetings are confidential, and their protocols are not released to the public for decades.

Liberman announced his resignation on Wednesday, saying that the ceasefire with Hamas after it launched 460 rockets at Israeli civilians in two days was a capitulation. He said he tried to stop it, but to no avail.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman resigns over Hamas ceasefire, November 15, 2018 (Reuters)

Erdan argued that Liberman’s resignation was purely political and cynical, because he thought an election was near.
On Saturday night, Bennett said Liberman “failed and ran away from the battle” by resigning.

Bennett and Liberman have long exchanged barbs publicly over the latter’s response to continued rioting on the Gaza border and attacks on nearby Israeli communities.

Similarly, at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said Liberman “gave a gift to Hamas and abandoned the battle, sending a shock through the government.”

Liberman denied reports that his resignation disrupted a secret security matter that had been discussed in the cabinet.

“The fact that people are talking about secret matters in the media is a problem,” Liberman told Army Radio. “My resignation is not connected. It’s a spin and an attempt to escape responsibility.”

“The only good thing about [Bennett] being appointed defense minister is that he would leave the education system and then we could save it,” Liberman quipped.

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