Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman would not support a ceasefire with Hamas amid ongoing speculation that a truce is imminent, Israeli media reported today.
“I am not involved in the arrangement,” Lieberman was quoted as saying in reference to ceasefire talks.
“Hamas is a terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction,” he said. “I don’t think we have anything to talk about.”
“In recent days, we have seen that Hamas is in total control of what goes on here [i.e., along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone],” he added.
Lieberman went on to assert that violence along the buffer zone had recently decreased “almost to zero”.
“If there is calm this Friday [along the buffer zone], the [Gaza-Israel Kerem Shalom] border crossing will remain open,” he said. “If there’s no calm, it will be closed.”
The defence minister added: “If we decide that we have no choice but to launch a military operation [against Gaza], we will do what needs to be done.”
Palestinians have been protesting near the Gaza fence with Israel since 30 March calling for their right to return to homes their families were forced out of during the Nakba and for an end to the 11-year siege of the Strip. Israeli occupation forces have killed more than 170 unarmed Palestinians during the protests and injured over 17,000.