Lieberman: Each campaign strengthens Hamas

Foreign Minister says Gaza group gains politically from each IDF operation, urges permanent international coalition to fight against terror.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday that every military campaign against Hamas strengthens the Gaza group politically.



Speaking at an international counter-terrorism conference in Herzliya, the Yisrael Beiteinu chairman argued that IDF operations in the Strip have only encouraged the radical Islamist organization.


"The last operation, Protective Edge, was the third campaign against Hamas – and it survived all three conflicts. If their rocket range in the first operation was 15 kilometers, towards Sderot, by Pillar of Defense they reached the outskirts of Tel Aviv and Rishon LeZion," he argued.


Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

The senior minister stressed that the threat posed by Hamas has grown with each passing operation. "Now the missiles have passed Hadera. They carry greater payloads. The danger is not only in the range but that each campaign strengthens the organization politically."


Lieberman warned that "if there were elections today, Ismail Haniyeh would win 66 percent of the vote."


The foreign minister argued that international agreements, accords, and conventions were not written to address the threat of terrorism faced by Israel and other countries. "All the international treaties were written after World War II, they were made for a completely different era, in which a military engaged another military."


Hamas 'victory' parade at end of IDF operation (Photo: AFP)
Hamas 'victory' parade at end of IDF operation (Photo: AFP)


"But today a Western military must battle a terror organization. Decisions must be made – where you are being fired upon from a school, a mosque, or a hospital, what do you do? The terrorists exploit the free world's morality. Hamas exploited the civilian population by using them as human shields and as hostages," he said.


Lieberman repeated his diplomatic message on Israel's difficulty in the international arena. "The central challenge to our diplomacy is that it is thought we have a problem with the Palestinians, but the real problem is tri-lateral – with Arab states, Palestinians, and Arab Israelis. We must resolve everything at once, in a package deal."


The foreign minister clarified that "there will not be a more generous offer than made by Olmert to Abu Mazen in Annapolis, which Abu Mazen turned down. Any attempt to reach an accord only with the Palestinians is doomed from the start."


The rightwing politician warned the international crowd of security experts that there were many similarities between radical Islamist groups. "The Islamic State is like Hamas in terms of its modus operandi; a change is required in the International Criminal Court and in international norms."


Haniyeh at 'victory' parade in Gaza (Photo: Reuters) (Photo: Reuters)
Haniyeh at 'victory' parade in Gaza (Photo: Reuters)


"The primary tool of terror groups like ISIS is new media, the internet, Facebook. That is how they recruit new people, how they brainwash them. We must adopt legislation which limits internet service providers and countries which allow use of their platform to distribute the malicious ideology which we have seen in recent days."


Lieberman welcomed the US initiative to gather an international coalition against the Islamic State. "It was an important, correct decision and I hope it succeeds."


The foreign minister stressed that the international coalition must operate permanently "against the terror world, not only against ISIS. We need to set unified norms; if the UN has a role it is to organize a coalition against terror."


He added that the international community must "maintain integrity and avoid double standards – the side-dealings must end. Some countries are comfortable with the Taliban, Hamas, and Hezbollah – that is not how we unite against terror."


Lieberman called out against the injustice he perceived in the international arena. "The hypocrisy must end. That is the only way to establish an international center to fight the phenomenon that threatens us all."


פרסום ראשון: 09.10.14, 01:05
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