Lieberman: Emergency Zionist Coalition Needed to Counter PA

MK Steinitz calls for IDF offensive in Gaza to torpedo creation of PA gov't; MK Katz: Break ties with PA.

Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman has called for an emergency government to be formed comprising all Zionist parties, in an effort to counter the establishment of the new Palestinian unity government, Army Radio reported Thursday.

According to excerpts from the new government's platform, published Thursday on two Hamas Web sites, the new government will continue to support "resistance" until the occupation ends, as well as uphold the call for the right of return for Palestinians refugees.

MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud), former chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, called on the government to order an extensive military operation in the Gaza Strip this weekend in order to torpedo the establishment of the new Palestinian unity government.

According to Steinitz, the Israel Defense Forces must go on a military-political preventative strike to halt the military build-up in Gaza and destroy the growing rocket infrastructure.

Steinitz said Israel must "torpedo the existence of the Hamas government that would legitimize terrorism and a military build-up and win the recognition of the Arab world and the international community."

MK Yisrael Katz (Likud) called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to announce that Israel in breaking off all ties with the new Palestinian government and with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

According to Katz, in moments of truth, Abbas has proved time and again to be no different than Hamas in regards to the struggle against Israel.

National Religious Party Chairman MK Zevulun Orlev, said the Palestinian government's platform reflect Palestinian unity in support of terrorism and the implementation or Hamas's platform for the destruction of Israel.

Meanwhile, left-wing called on the government not to boycott all of the new Palestinian government's ministers, and to launch negotiations with the new government.

Meretz Chairman Yossi Beilin said the establishment of the unitygovernment, with the Saudi initiative as a backdrop, creates a rareopportunity for a political breakthrough.

MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) said, "Hopefully, the establishment of theunity government will serve to calm spirits and stabilize thePalestinian Authority."

Still, Pines-Paz added that as long as the new Palestinian government fails to recognize Israel, Abbas would remain the only partner fornegotiations and is thus responsible for the safe return of capturedIDF soldier Gilad Shalit to Israel.

MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) called on the government to launch immediate negotiationswith the new Palestinian government, in order to stop thecycle of death and terror.

Cohen said negotiations should continue in spite of what he describedas "the unity government's verbal manipulation when it states that itwill respect previous agreements with Israel but will not recognizeIsrael."

Related articles

  • PMO: New PA stance 'flies in the face' of international demands
  • New Palestinian cabinet