Liberman: Improving Gaza’s Economic Situation Will Not Stop Terrorism .
Written by Mara Vigevani/TPS on June 10, 2018
Improving Gaza’s economic situation will not bring terror to an end, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told Army Radio Sunday morning, just before a Cabinet meeting on the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
“On Friday, we saw 10,000 people connected to Hamas and that receive salaries from them, [rioting along the fence]. Hamas does not want an improvement in the civilian situation but rather for Israel to lift the siege. The idea that improvement of the economic situation will stop terrorism is an illusion”.
Liberman said there the humanitarian situation in the Gaza was nothing to do with Israel., but was in fact down to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to slash the transfer of funds to the Strip and also Hamas’ investment in weapons at the expense of civil expenditure, as well as its failure to reach a deal with Israel on returning the bodies of Israeli soldiers killed in action in Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and two mentally ill civilians held captive by the organization after crossing the border of their own volition.
“Hamas spent $ 260 million on rockets in 2017 and does not pay for health, education, and infrastructure and… Hamas is not prepared to return our missing soldiers and captives. Hamas could get a very generous humanitarian package if it frees them,” he added.
The cabinet meeting comes after two months of weekly violent protests along the Gaza border in which over a 100 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured.
“We are not looking for an escalation, we have no interest in the confrontation, ” Lieberman said.” Hamas is trying to drag us into a confrontation and is prepared to pay a heavy price. In recent clashes, 170 people, most of them terrorists, were killed and 7,000 injured. Besides, we destroyed ten tunnels and 17 manufacturing facilities belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.”
The Yisrael Beiteinu chairman also referred to the Iranian presence in Syria, saying that the regime in Tehran is in danger of collapse. “We are determined to prevent an Iranian presence in Syria, and we will do everything possible to prevent this from happening,” Lieberman said. “I am following the riots in Iran, and since the Khomeini revolution there have not been riots on the scale seen in recent months. If painful economic sanctions continue, this regime will be living on borrowed time. “