Hamas Trying to Open New Front Against Israel From Lebanon, Defense Minister Claims

Lieberman says Israel is closely watching the new 'friendship' between Hezbollah and Hamas' man in Lebanon

Lebanese army soldiers stand guard near a car that was destroyed in a bombing, in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Sunday, Jan 14, 2018. The Lebanese military said the bomb went off in a car in southern Lebanon, wounding its Palestinian owner. It was not immediately clear who carried out Sunday's bombing in the city of Sidon or why the Palestinian, identified as Mohammed Hamdan, was targeted. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman paid a visit to the border policemen who were wounded in the attempt to apprehend the terrorists who murdered an Israeli near Havat Gilad, and said that Hamas was trying to open a new front against Israel, both in the West Bank and Gaza, but also from Lebanon.

“One needs to understand that Hamas, which is finding it difficult to launch operations from the Gaza Strip, is in a very tough spot. It is therefore trying to organize attacks in Judea and Samaria, as well as opening new fronts, mostly in southern Lebanon. Their attempts to establish a terror infrastructure in southern Lebanon and to threaten Israel from there are very worrisome,” he said.

Lieberman’s statements come after a Hamas activist was injured earlier in the week when his car exploded in the city of Sidon, in southern Lebanon. Lebanese media first reported that the man was Mohammed Hamdan, also called Abu Hamza. He is the brother of Osman Hamdan, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, which is responsible for the organization’s external relations in Lebanon. Hamas later formally denied this, saying the man was not a brother of a senior Hamas member. There were no reactions to the incident in Israel but Hamas considers Israel to be behind the attempted assassination.

“Generally speaking, all this sudden friendship between the senior Hamas representative in Lebanon, Saleh al-Arouri, and Hezbollah leader Nasrallah is something we’re watching carefully and any developments there will be met with an appropriate response” said Lieberman, also mentioning for the first time that the person who led the terrorists who committed the murder managed to escape.

Israeli security forces raided a house in the Jenin refugee camp Wednesday night and killed a Palestinian man who was reportedly involved in last week's drive-by shooting that killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach near the Havat Gilad outpost in the West Bank.

“I’m sure we’ll catch up with him soon and settle accounts. He should know that he is now living like a dog on the run, living on borrowed time. We’ll get him”, said Lieberman. “We know everything – we know who the terrorists were, who their helpers were, who other people involved were, and we’ll reach all of them. Not one of them will walk around freely, we’ll get to them and they’ll pay the full price.”