Lieberman: Hamas talks are harmful

Says IDF must be allowed to act; Hanegbi: Comments are excessive politics.

tzahi hanegbi 248 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
tzahi hanegbi 248 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman accused Israel on Friday of negotiating with Hamas, including the organization's leader in Damascus Khaled Mashaal. Lieberman said that the talks were critically harming the Israel's ability to deter, as well as the security establishment's morale. He stated that the security forces must stop firing at sand dunes and start doing what should be done. "They know better than me and all the ministers [what should be done]," Lieberman asserted He said that the forces were ready and willing to operate, but that they were prevented from doing so. In an interview to Israel Radio, the right-wing party leader asserted that there was no order or guiding hand in Israel's decision-making process. Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima) responded that Lieberman's accusations amounted to demagoguery and excessive politics. He reminded that this week, the IDF engaged in unprecedented steps against the Palestinians, including the continuing incursion into the Gaza Strip that began on Tuesday night, strikes against electrical infrastructure, and arrests of over 60 senior Hamas officials on Thursday morning. He told Israel Radio that steps are being taken, but are done gradually so that kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit could be returned without further escalation, should the opportunity arise. Hanegbi asserted that Israel must act with determination but also with restraint.