The possibility of launching another military assault against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, would result in Israel "paying the price" and taking control of the Strip, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, warned yesterday.
"There are two options: The IDF [Israel army] can overthrow Hamas in Gaza, which means paying the price of taking control over the Strip, or it can lead Gaza's residents to overthrow Hamas themselves," Lieberman told the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, stressing that "the second option guarantees much more stability."
Questioned about the possibility of Hamas winning future Palestinian elections, Lieberman said: "You are completely wrong."
"As far as I know, there is no chance of Hamas winning free elections in Gaza," he stressed.
In 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections which were held in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Fatah-run Palestinian Authority based in occupied Ramallah refused to hand over power to Hamas creating a rift which is ongoing.
Israel place the Gaza Strip under an air, sea and land blockade following the election, controlling Palestinians' access to basic amenities and causing the unemployment rate to rise as a result of the limited resources.