Avigdor Liberman, July 4, 2015.
(photo credit: BEERSHEBA SPOKESPERSON)
A day after the Islamic State's Sinai affiliate claimed responsibility for launching rockets at Israel, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman said Israel's ability to deter its enemies has suffered.
"It's not important if the Grad rockets that landed in the South yesterday were launched by Salafists in Gaza or by ISIS in Sinai," the former foreign minister said at a cultural event in Beersheba on Saturday.
"From the time of Israel's establishment there were always threats; once it is Hezbollah, once Hamas and the names of the threats just change every time," Liberman said.
"What has changed for the worse are not the threats but the damage to Israel's ability to deter that has suffered mainly since the end of Operation Protective Edge," Liberman added, referring to last summer's 50 day military campaign with Hamas and other Islamist groups in Gaza.
"The damage to Israel's deterrence means that Israel is not given a second thought by ISIS, in the negotiations with Iran in Vienna
, and in Gaza," he added.
Liberman, whose party decided in May not to join the ruling government coalition, has criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
in the past for not dealing a strong enough blow to Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.
“It is simply unfathomable that every two years we need to conduct another military operation,” he said. “If we want to change this so that we can live here in quiet, we need to alter the balance of terror vis-à-vis our enemies. We need to make clear to them that whoever acts against us won’t find themselves in an underground bunker but in an underground grave. After the Hezbollah attack, we should’ve responded the way the Jordanians did against Islamic State,” Liberman said in February.
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