Israel’s far-right Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman revealed details on Friday of a series of meetings with Arab leaders whose countries do not have diplomatic relations with the Zionist state, Quds Press has reported. The meetings were apparently held in Tel Aviv over the past few years.
In an interview published by Yedioth Ahronoth, Lieberman said that the Arab leaders made secret visits to Israel for the meetings. He compared the progress of normalising ties with Arab states between 1996 and today. “We have passed three-quarters of the mission,” he said. The agendas included what he called “the real threats: Iran, Al-Qaeda and the terrorist Sunni movements.”
The Moldovan-born Lieberman said that the Arab leaders know what they can get from Israel, pointing to intelligence, expertise, technology and strategic cooperation. “I do not remember that the Arab leaders have ever highlighted the Palestine issue in their proposals,” he claimed, “not even as a first point, a second or a third.”
He noted that the Arab leaders maintain their relations with Israel as a secret because of the “deep gap” between them and their people regarding links with the occupation state.
According to Yedioth Ahronoth, although Lieberman pledged to assassinate Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh within 48 hours of becoming Defence Minister, he insists that there are different options on the table now. “There are two options: the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] 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. The second option guarantees much more stability.”
In conclusion, Lieberman explained that he does not believe in a truce with Hamas. If there is going to be such a deal, though, then it must include the issue of Israel’s missing and captured soldiers.