Lieberman Suggests UN Take Control of Gaza Strip

Foreign Minister cites British Mandate over Palestine and UN mandates in East Timor and Kosovo as examples.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that Israel and the Palestinian Authority should consider transferring control of Gaza to the UN.

"Everyone is asking, what happens after the operation ends? Suppose Israel defeats Hamas. There are a few options. International control of Gaza, by the UN, should certainly be considered."

Speaking at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Lieberman cited the British Mandate over Palestine and the UN mandates in East Timor and Kosovo as examples.

"We saw it works quite well there," he said. " It requires an agreement between us and the Palestinian Authority. It doesn't require consent from the UN, just from the parties involved – Israel and the PA."

"The latest news from Cairo and the demands from the gangs running Gaza, it's clear that this is a non-starter," Lieberman said. "We need to think about how to achieve the targets: Quiet for the settlements around Gaza, eliminating the rocket threat and preventing a strengthening of Hamas."

Lieberman added: "We face three clear options: An agreement, defeating Hamas or limbo, meaning they fire and we don't respond. The third option, limbo, is irrelevant - that way you leave Hamas with the initiative of when to open fire. It controls the height of the flames and you just respond."

Lieberman also criticized the foreign journalists broadcasting from Gaza. "The media inside Gaza is in many ways cooperating with Hamas," he said. "You won't see pictures of Hamas shooting protesters you won't see terrorists grouping together and shooting from schools, hospitals and mosques. When you see how the media is reporting from inside the Strip, it's not being true to its job."

"We are facing several simultaneous attempts to damage the legitimacy of our self-determination," Lieberman said. "There is a wave of anti-Semitism that was unleashed in light of this conflict we have organized many interviews in the media, organized protests. It's true that on screen they first show civilian casualties, and unfortunately there are civilian casualties, but [they also show] the Israeli narrative, that terror organizations are using the population as a human shield. Whoever thought that the media would show a one-sided picture, a knock-out - it doesn't exist in the world media. We're managing to bring the Israeli side."

Lieberman said that today, Israel has significant international backing to continue to act militarily against Hamas. "I want to stress [the issue] of political credit," he said. "In the fourth week of the operation, the IDF is free to act despite the international pressures. The UN Security Council, the first [forum] that discusses international crises, has not made any decisions so far, aside from press releases. It should also be honestly stated that this situation is possible thanks to the cooperation with the U.S. The U.S. is a decisive factor, but it's also thanks to a lot of work from our diplomats."

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