Liberman: Life in Gaza Tough, But Not a ‘Humanitarian Crisis’

YERUSHALAYIM -
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

There is “absolutely no humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a weekend conversation. His comments, at a public discussion sponsored by Maariv, contradicted comments made last week by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott that Gaza was about to “explode” because of the lack of food, medicine and opportunity.

Liberman said that “someone is spinning this story and spreading disinformation.” While life in Gaza is not easy – mostly due to the theft of humanitarian funds by Hamas – most officials in the government, besides Eisenkott, had not used the term “crisis” to describe the situation in Gaza. “I pored over the protocols of the discussions about this in the government, and the Chief of Staff used the term ‘difficult civilian situation.’” The use of the term “humanitarian crisis” could be traced to IDF coordinator for activities in the territories, General Yoav Mordechai, Liberman said.

Gaza, said Liberman, “is no Zurich and not even a Ra’anana. There is a difficult economic situation there, and a problematic infrastructure situation, but it is not a ‘humanitarian crisis.’” Israel should not be taking responsibility for the situation in Gaza, he said – it was Hamas’s fault, and if the terror group wanted Israel’s help in improving the situation there, it needed to release the Israelis it was holding, dead and alive – including civilian Avram Mengistu and fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, Hy”d.