Land for peace concept failed, Lieberman says
Strategic affairs minister says, ‘Since 1977 we have given up land equal to four times the size of Israel, and the result is that today we have less security’; adds: The fact that Hamas leader Mashaal and Islamic Jihad are operating from Syria is proof to all of us that this is a country that does not want peace
Israel must do away with the concept according to which peace can only be achieved by giving up territories, Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Friday regarding Syria’s recent peace overtures.
“This concept has failed,” he said during a tour of IDF outposts in northern Israel. “Since 1977 we have given up land equal to four times the size of Israel, and the result is that today we have less security.”
The minister said the fact that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Islamic Jihad are operating from Syria “is proof to all of us that this is a country that does not want peace, but rather acts like a terror state.”
As to the riots sparked by Hizbullah supporters in Beirut, Lieberman said the situation is volatile and may affect Israel.
“As I said while the fighting (in Lebanon) was still going on, Israel must be prepared for any scenario. We don’t know when and at what level of intensity this volcano will erupt,” he said.
Lieberman added that “It is my impression that the lessons drawn from the recent war in Lebanon are not being implemented on the ground and have not been relayed to IDF commanders.
'Lack of decisiveness'
“The heads of state are dealing with the Winograd Committee and are not working toward implementing the findings published by the other committees (investigating the war),” he said.
The minister also visited the village of Ghajar, which is split in half by the Israeli-Lebanese border. UN Resolution 1701, which was ratified by the Israeli government, includes the decision to abrogate Israel's responsibility for the northern part of the village and turn it over to UNIFIL control.
“The issue of Ghajar is a result of a lack of decisiveness on the part of the Israeli government,” Lieberman said.
“The village’s residents must decide within a year whether they want to live in Israel, beyond the international boundary, or remain where they are, live under Lebanese rule and lose their citizenship.
“The current situation is leading to arms and drug smuggling,” the minister said.