Lieberman After Rockets: 'Israel Has No Choice but to Consider Conquering Gaza'

Speaking to Israel Radio, Avigdor Lieberman says 'Israel must conduct a thorough cleaning of the Gaza Strip.'

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Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense committee said on Monday morning that following the barrage of rockets launched from Gaza into southern Israel, "Israel has no choice but to consider conquering the Gaza Strip."

Lieberman made his remarks during an interview with Israel Radio, and added that if Israel does not respond to such attacks, within two years Hamas will have aerial capabilities, and hundreds of rockets capable of striking central Israel. "Hamas has no intention of accepting a Jewish presence in Israel, and therefore we must return and conduct a thorough cleaning of the Gaza strip," said Lieberman, who is in line to be Israel's foreign minister, pending the results of his legal proceedings.

This is not the first time that Lieberman has stated that Israel must reconquer the Gaza Strip. Prior to the most recent election, Lieberman said that "the world should know – another rocket attack from Gaza will require an Israeli ground operation. This will not be like in Operation Cast Lead, a limited ground operation. This time we will take over the entire Gaza Strip, and pay the whole price. The whole world should not call on Israel to show restraint."

At least six rockets were fired Sunday night from the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel, prompting sirens to sound in multiple regions. One of the rockets landed in Rahat, in the Bnei Shimon Regional Council, a second rocket exploded near Be'er Sheva and a third exploded in the Lachish Regional Council. Three more rockets were fired toward the Ashkelon Regional Council, two of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The rocket fire did not cause injuries nor property damage.

Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman at his trial, May 29, 2013. Credit: Gil Yohanan

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