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Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman quits in protest

Kolkata News
15 Nov 2018, 06:18 GMT+10

JERUSALEM Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman resigned on Wednesday.

The resignation, which was largely expected, followed the ceasefire agreed between the Israeli government and Hamas on Tuesday.

Mr Liberman announced his resignation in the Knesset.

His Yisrael Beytenu party will also leave Benjamin Netanyahus coalition government.

"I am indeed here to announce my resignation from the position of defense minister," Liberman said.

I have tried to remain a faithful member of the Cabinet and to make heard another view, even at a great electoral and political price."

However, Tuesday's ceasefire with Hamas cannot be interpreted in any way other than a surrender to terror," he said.

"This will severely harm our security in the long term.

The response that we gave to the 500 rockets shot from Gaza was not enough, to say the least," Mr Liberman continued. "The south should come first. Our weakness is being broadcast to other fronts.

Hamas isnt talking about coexistence and recognition of Israel," he said. "They dont want to reduce unemployment in Gaza."

Liberman pressed the government to set a date for a snap election. Dont paralyze the country in the long term, he said.

When questioned as to why he resigned after this ceasefire and not previous ones, Mr Liberman responded: "You can't always get everything you want. As long as I could influence from the inside I stayed. There were turning points that no longer allowed me to fulfil my role in the cabinet."

The ceasefire which was brokered by Egypt was seen as a means by both sides to avoid an unnecessary war, after an assassination on Sunday was followed by a barrage of rockets being fired into Israel and retaliatory air-strikes from the Israel Air Force.

The Prime Ministers office, when confirming the ceasefire had been reached, said the decision to agree to it was unanimous.

Mr. Liberman, Jerusalem Affairs Minister and Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked later disputed this saying they had all voted against a ceasefire.

"The statement about Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman's alleged support for stopping the attacks in Gaza is fake news," Liberman's office said in a statement Tuesday night. "The defense minister's stand is consistent and has not changed."

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