Israel 'would eventually need to overthrow Hamas' says country's Foreign Minister
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has said that despite the government's decision to agree to a cease-fire his country would 'eventually need to overthrow the Hamas regime' in Gaza.
Liberman said that a ground operation in Gaza would entail reoccupying the Gaza Strip, and partaking in such an effort only two months before an election was the wrong move.
"The occupation of Gaza and the overthrow of Hamas is a process that would take more than four months," he said during an interview with Channel 2.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Liberman added that the government decided to agree to the cease-fire despite the fact that they knew "the public was against it."
He said that the cease-fire was the best agreement Israel could have made at this particular moment.
The report quoted Liberman, as saying that Israel had met its three goals for the mission- stopping rocket fire on the South, regaining Israel's power of deterrence and destroying Hamas's stock of long-range Fajr 5 missiles.
Meanwhile, the country's Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday rejected the notion that Israeli public opinion against a cease-fire agreement with Hamas should have any bearing on the Israeli leadership's decision-making process.
According to the report, Barak expressed confidence that the cease-fire with Gaza factions would be "relatively long," adding that "Hamas did not truly achieve anything - Israel has control of all the understandings with them."