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Israel minister threatens Arab MKs: 'There will be a time when you won't be here'

Israel’s former defence minister and head of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party Avigdor Lieberman [Latvian Foreign Ministry/Flickr]
Israel’s former defence minister and head of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party Avigdor Lieberman [Latvian Foreign Ministry/Flickr]

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman launched a new attack on Palestinian Members of Knesset yesterday, in response to a debate initiated by Joint List parliamentarians charging the government with a "policy based on war crimes".

"Every day in the Middle East some 400 people are murdered in Arab countries, with close to 1,000 people wounded," Lieberman said during the debate. "In Yemen 160 people are being murdered every day. Who cares? Look at how many terror attacks there are every day. Is someone talking about war crimes? Those who are sitting here are war criminals, the entire Joint List are war criminals."

The minister's remarks came just a day after he had attacked the Palestinian residents of the Wadi Ara area of the country, saying they "do not belong to the State of Israel".

Lieberman returned to this topic yesterday, telling the Knesset: "I'm looking at the terrorists who came from Wadi Ara in recent years…When I look at the number of people involved in terror and who were arrested before carrying out attacks, they are not individuals and not on the margins."

Read: After protests Lieberman calls for boycott on Arabs in Israel

"It's very worthwhile to make it clear that we aren't prepared to reconcile ourselves to this and that they have to decide which flag they want to hold."

Later, he added one of his favourite slogans: "Without loyalty there is no citizenship."

Concluding his remarks, the minister threatened the Palestinian MKs who had sought to raise awareness of the Israeli government's human rights abuses.

"Here you exploit the weaknesses and advantages of a democratic state to destroy it from within. I have no illusions. You are here by mistake and there will be a time when you won't be here."

Hanin Zoabi, who presented the no-confidence motion on behalf of the Joint List, said:

This government is a criminal government. The prime minister should be put on trial at the International Criminal Court at The Hague because he is a war criminal, together with his coalition, which kills children, steals land and persecutes human rights organisations.

"In this country evil is the name of the game; it's the accepted norm that has always characterised its policy. Occupation is always aggressive, violent, illegitimate and a basis for war crimes."

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