Liberman: We’ll ‘Take Care’ of Top Hamas Terrorist in Due Time

Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. (Flash90)

Israel is pursuing a “new policy” in relation to Hamas, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a live social media chat Sunday. “We are acting against Hamas in an intelligent and determined manner,” he said. “Everyone can see how we are responding to Hamas terrorism in a different manner than previously. This is the definition of intelligence and determination in this regard.”

Liberman had made it his goal to attain the position of defense minister even before the 2015 elections that brought him into Binyamin Netanyahu’s latest government, and during the election campaign he pledged that if he were appointed to the post, he would eliminate Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh within 48 hours. Asked what became of that pledge, Liberman said that sometimes it was necessary to wait and act patiently in order to eliminate a threat. “Ask me about Haniyeh after I finish my term as defense minister.”

Israel did not intend to retake Gaza, under any circumstances, said Liberman. “We have asked the world to recognize that Hamas is running a terror government in Gaza which has as its only purpose the destruction of Israel.” While Hamas was mostly a danger to Israel, Iran, he said, was “a danger to the entire world.”

Regarding the Palestinians in general, Liberman said that his policy was to reward the positive forces and punish the negative ones as a means of promoting quiet. “We try to do good for those who work with us, but we punish those who violate the law and work against us. We are continuing with our ‘carrot and stick’ policy.”

And about construction in Yehudah and Shomron, Liberman said things were on track. “We have authorized construction of 6,000 units, far more than in recent years. Another 1,000 are currently under construction, and another 5,000 in various stages of planning. We have also increased entry permits for the Palestinians, and we are funding a number of facilities for them.”