Lieberman to Netanyahu: Crush Gaza or no parliamentary coalition

Lieberman to Netanyahu: Crush Gaza or no parliamentary coalition
Far-right Avigdor Lieberman says his party will only be a part of the coalition in the next Knesset if Tel Aviv's policy will go even harder on the besieged Gaza.
2 min read
10 April, 2019
Lieberman and Netanyahu disagreed on a Hamas truce [Getty]

Avigdor Lieberman, a far-right former Israeli defence minister has called on prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu to end the truce with Hamas and radically change policy towards the Gaza based group as a condition to join any right-wing coalition.

Sources within Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party, which is expected to win five seats in the next Knesset, said Lieberman made it clear to Netanyahu that he would not join the next coalition unless the already brutal policy on the besieged Gaza Strip becomes amplified.

This comes after Netanyahu approached Lieberman on Wednesday evening to negotiate a right-wing coalition group, according to state-owned TV station Kan.

In November, the former war chief, who once called for "disloyal" Palestinian citizens of Israel to be beheaded resigned from his post after a ceasefire with Hamas.

"What happened yesterday - the truce combined with the process with Hamas - is capitulating to terror. It has no other meaning," Lieberman told journalists in explaining his reasons for resigning.

The resignaton sparked a political turmoil and triggered an early election.

'Two sides of the same coin'

Meanwhile, Gaza based group Hamas said the result of the elections make no difference because all Israeli parties are “faces of one coin.”

"There is no difference between this party or the other parties, all are faces of one coin; the coin of occupation, and our position is clear, that we are dealing with all of the results of the Zionist society, which is an occupying society” said senior Hamas official Khalil Al-Hayya.

“We seek with all our strength to end this occupation and achieve our national goals and the principles of the Palestinian people," he added.

Gaza has been under siege for 12 years, creating a major human catastrophe in the enclave.

In 2007, Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the strip, effectively turning the coastal enclave into an open-air prison, where basic necessities such as food, fuel and medicines are severely controlled.

Critics say the blockade amounts to collective punishment of the coastal enclave's two million residents. The UN says Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020, but human rights organisations say Gaza has reached inhabitability now.