Photo: Gil Yohanan
MK Lieberman: Out with Hamas
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Lieberman: One-way ticket to heaven for Hamas leaders
In interview for Voice of Israel radio, Minister for Strategic Affairs declares Palestinian President Abbas irrelevant and road map destructive. Israel should repossess Philadelphi route to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza, Lieberman declares
Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman said Saturday that Israel must ignore Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and topple the Hamas government.


Following the US-backed road map peace plan will only worsen the conflict, according to Lieberman. Furthermore, he said Israel must take back control of the Philadelphi Strip which runs along the Egyptian-Gaza border.


In an interview Saturday for Voice of Israel (Kol Yisrael) radio, the Israel Our Home chairman suggested a series of steps based on his belief that the Palestinians are not interested in establishing their own independent sate, but rather want to see Israel destroyed.


“Continued adherence to the Oslo Accords and the road map will lead us to another round of confrontations, too much bloodshed, and in the end we will find ourselves at a worse dead end than the present one. It puts our whole future in danger,” Lieberman said.


He continued, “There is no point in targeting refugee camps and Beit Hanoun and all such places. For those people, who live on ten shekels a day, there is nothing to lose. When they are killed, they recruit themselves gladly. We have to focus on those who have something to lose - the leaders of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.”


'Focus on Jordan'

Lieberman sees Abbas as a weak leader that should be ignored in favor of stronger ties with Jordan in all that is bound up in the fate of the West Bank. “We have always targeted the wrong places and taken care not to speak with the right people,” Lieberman explained.


“We have a dependable partner, and that is Jordan. We must declare Abbas irrelevant. He is hated in the Palestinian Authority. We should ignore him because he has no authority, no power,” he added.


“This needs to be explained to the entire international community. I believe there are normal people there who want to develop good neighborhoods, and good education and health systems. There is much to be done with the economic situation there too,” he said.


Lieberman would like to send Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders to heaven with a one-way ticket: “I see all Hamas and Jihad leaders moving about freely, continuing to provoke spirits. They must disappear, go to heaven, all of them. There is no room for compromise on this matter.”


Lieberman also addressed the issue of the Philadelphi route separating Gaza and Egypt, which in his view should be repossessed by the Israeli Defense Forces to stop the smuggling of weapons and funds into the Strip.


“We must learn our lessons from Oslo, from leaving Gaza, from what happened following the disengagement. Without those lessons, moving on is impossible,” Lieberman concluded.


'Egypt does nothing'

MK Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Israel Our Home) and Matan Vilnai (Labor), in a meeting in Beer Sheva Saturday morning, strengthened Lieberman's sentiments regarding the IDF's assassination policy.


According to Aharonovitch, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is responsible for the Qassam attacks on Sderot and, as such "he must pay the price. He must be assassinated".


Israel responds too late to acts by Palestinian militants. "We're heroes after the fact, waiting for (Israeli) victims and only then sending in troops," he continued.


In addition, he said the Egyptians are nowhere to be found, "They claim that they're doing something, but they're not doing anything. Guns and missiles enter Gaza through Egypt."


Although on the left, MK Vilnai also agrees with the policy of pinpoint assassinations against terrorist leaders, "I'm not sure Haniyeh is the guy, but anyone involved in terror should be assassinated."


"What is happening to the Palestinian people is a tragedy, and we are suffering from this tragedy…(Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) is soft, weak."


Vilnai believes that the IDF should continue operating in the Gaza Strip and not wait for more rockets to land. "The war must be continuous. We must fight in Gaza and we must do this more," he said. 


According to him, only a joint effort would lead to productive results. "The Egyptians know what's going on is Gaza and are doing nothing," he said.


Anat Bereshkovsky contributed to this article


First published: 18.11.06, 14:40
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