Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks to the press at the United Nations General Assembly.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement Saturday that the most significant threat to the State of Israel today is an erosion in its security deterrence.
"In the last three decades, we released and returned over 3,000 prisoners," Liberman said, naming "some of the most abominable terrorists" such as those responsible for the 2000 Ramallah lynching of two IDF reservists (released as part of the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange), Samir Kuntar (released in exchange for the bodies of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser), those responsible for the kidnapping and murder of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman in 1994 (released as part of the Schalit exchange), and Kozo Okamoto, who participated in the massacre of 26 people at the Lod Airport in 1972 (released in 1985 as part of an exchange for captive Israeli soldiers).
Liberman said that such prisoner exchanges take a toll on Israel's security deterrence by giving terrorists imprisoned in Israel the hope of being freed. "There's no choice but to incur the death penalty on these terrorists," the FM said. "Terrorists mustn't be freed, they must be taken out."
The biggest issue lies with the inability of Israel's leadership to make a decision on any front, Liberman said.
"Despite carrying out three operations in Gaza, we failed to topple the Hamas government," he said, explaining that the final blow to the Gazan government during this past summer's 50-day Operation Protective Edge was not given due to the inability of decision makers to "give the order."
Israel can't always stay in place and abstain from making change-incurring decisions, the FM said. "By doing so, we're dragging on the conflict and ensuring an inevitable fourth-round against Hamas," he said.