Israeli Defense Chief: Next Round of Gaza Violence Only Matter of Time

Avigdor Lieberman says all 168 demonstrators killed by the IDF during border protests were Hamas members

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Smoke billows as an Israeli airstrike flattens a cultural center near Gaza City, August 9, 2018.
Smoke billows as an Israeli airstrike flattens a cultural center near Gaza City, August 9, 2018.Credit: Arafat Kareem,AP

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday morning that when it comes to the next round of violence between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the question "is not if, but when."

"We are conducting a responsible and powerful security policy," Lieberman noted, adding that "since the beginning of the 'March of Return,' Hamas has lost 168 people, while 4,348 people were wounded and dozens of terror infrastructures were destroyed."

According to Gaza's Health Ministry, 168 protesters have been killed in Gaza, including children. 

Lieberman, who made the remarks while visiting the Israeli military's Gaza Division, added that "responsible security policy is not an answer, not to talkbacks, not to newspaper headlines and not to public opinion. We are prepared and know what to do and how to do it."

Lieberman made the remarks after discussing the current security situation on the southern border with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and other security officials.

During last Friday's demonstration along the Israel-Gaza border, the IDF shot dead two Palestinians. And another Palestinian, who was shot on Friday, died of his wounds on Saturday.

An Egyptian source told Haaretz Thursday night that a ceasefire had been reached between Israel and Hamas, which went into effect immediately. A senior Israeli source denied the reports. Nevertheless, there was no exchange of fire between Israel and Gaza overnight.