Hamas Still Has Tunnels Running From Gaza to Egypt's Sinai, Defense Minister Lieberman Says

Lieberman also says 'hundreds of millions' coming from Iran to Gaza, and that Abbas is using Trump's Jerusalem decision to leave peace process

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem, December 31, 2017
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem, December 31, 2017.Credit: Hadas Parush
Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that he estimates that the Gaza attack tunnel destroyed last week by the Israel army "is not the last one" and that "there are other Hamas tunnels crossing into Sinai."

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

Lieberman further explained that the IDF is working under a "clear strategy in the Gaza Strip." He explained that the missing Israel Defense Forces' "are our chief concern," followed by the need to destroy Hamas tunnels, completing the barrier around the Gaza Strip to block additional tunnel digging, and "reducing their strategic abilities."

Responding to a speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Lieberman said it was just using U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital as an excuse to run away from negotiations.

Abbas exits with one final, outrageous performance. Now, America must contain the damage | Opinion ■  Netanyahu blasts Abbas speech: He revealed truth about conflict and did Israel a service ■   Abbas' speech: Palestinian president talks tough, but is thin on strategy | Analysis ■ Rivlin: Abbas returns to rhetoric for which he was accused of anti-Semitism

He further related to Abbas' speech Sunday night to the Palestinian Central Council in which Abbas said he will reject any peace process led by the U.S., saying that Abbas "sat opposite [Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert, and it's impossible to offer more than what Olmert did, and Abbas still said no," likely referring to peace negotiations between Olmert and Abbas in 2008.

Lieberman also said that Abbas only pays lip service to ending terrorism, while providing billions of Shekel a year in rewards for terrorists, adding that "whoever kills gets double what those who just stab get."

He also related to the need to strengthen Israeli communities along the Gaza border, and said that "despite the humanitarian situation, they are continuing to make rockets," presumably referring to militants in the Gaza Strip.

Lieberman also spoke about funding reaching Gaza, and said that "hundreds of millions" are pouring in from Iran, which gets divided between Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Click the alert icon to follow topics: