Israeli Defense Minister: In Next Gaza War, IDF Will Go ‘Full Force’ Until Hamas ‘Raises White Flag’
In the next war in the Gaza Strip, the IDF will go “full force” until Hamas “raises a white flag,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday.
In an appearance at the two-day annual policy conference of the Institute for National Security Studies think tank in Tel Aviv, Lieberman — the head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party — declined to give suggestions for what new US President Donald Trump’s Middle East policies should be.
“We must not give advice to the Americans,” Lieberman said. “Let’s not exaggerate. We’re a small country and [America] is a global power.”
The defense minister did claim, however, that external intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict only makes a resolution less likely.
Most nations around the world, Lieberman said, “do not have an understanding of the root of the conflict and how it developed. They impose themselves without asking.”
Countries that should be involved in an Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic settlement, Lieberman stated, are the “pragmatic Sunni states” in the Middle East.
“The road to an arrangement with the Palestinians is not in bilateral terms, rather in a regional arrangement,” he said.
The Islamic Republic, Lieberman went on to say, remains the biggest threat facing the Jewish state.
“Iran has a subversive policy of trying to undermine all the moderate regimes [in the Middle East], and a top priority for it is the destruction of Israel,” Lieberman said.
At the same INSS event on Tuesday, Education Minister and HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party leader Naftali Bennett called the two-state solution a “failed idea of yesterday, not the future.”
Referring to past unsuccessful Israeli attempts to reach a negotiated peace settlement with the Palestinians, Bennett said, “In my previous life, I was a high-tech CEO. If one of the managers in my company came to me and said: ‘Listen, I tried a program. It failed. But you know what? I tried the exact same program again. And it failed again. And I even tried it again a third time. Yup, it failed again. I’d say to him: ‘You’re fired.’”