Is­rael’s next Gaza war will be ‘last’: Min­is­ter

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

De­fense Min­is­ter Avig­dor Lieber­man said in an in­ter­view with a Pales­tinian news­pa­per yes­ter­day that Is­rael’s next war with Gaza mil­i­tants would be their last “be­cause we will com­pletely de­stroy them”. Lieber­man how­ever said he had no in­ten­tion of start­ing a new war in Gaza, which would be the fourth since 2008. He urged Pales­tini­ans to pres­sure Ha­mas, the Is­lamist move­ment that runs the Gaza Strip, to “stop your crazy poli­cies”.

“As min­is­ter of de­fense, I would like to clar­ify that we have no in­ten­tion of start­ing a new war against our neigh­bors in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, Le­banon or Syria,” he said in the in­ter­view with Jerusalem-based Al-Quds news­pa­per. “But in Gaza, like the Ira­ni­ans, they in­tend to elim­i­nate the state of Is­rael... If they im­pose the next war on Is­rael, it will be their last. I would like to em­pha­size again: It will be their last con­fronta­tion be­cause we will com­pletely de­stroy them.” Lieber­man is part of what is seen as the most right-wing govern­ment in Is­raeli his­tory, with sev­eral prom­i­nent mem­bers of Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu’s coali­tion openly op­pos­ing a Pales­tinian state.

But while known as a se­cu­rity-minded hard­liner, Lieber­man be­lieves in a two-state so­lu­tion to the con­flict based on land swaps. He re­it­er­ated that po­si­tion in the in­ter­view, say­ing he sees the main set­tle­ment blocks in the oc­cu­pied West Bank re­main­ing part of Is­rael un­der a final peace deal. Lieber­man, who took of­fice in May, also crit­i­cized Pales­tinian pres­i­dent Mah­mud Ab­bas, ac­cus­ing him of fail­ing to make tough com­pro­mises that could lead to peace. He pre­dicted Ab­bas would lose if elec­tions were held, with polls show­ing most Pales­tini­ans would like the 81year-old to re­sign. —AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.