Tensions rise in Netanyahu administration over Hamas

JERUSALEM/REUTERS/

Disagreements within the Netanyahu administration have increased tensions between Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, reports the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.

The daily writes that Education Minister Bennett, head of the Jewish House Party, thinks Lieberman’s surrender to Hamas would lead to war, while Israeli Defense Minister Lieberman said Bennett wants to sacrifice Israeli soldiers for his party and political interests.

Minister of Education Bennett attacked the minister of the occupation army, saying “his surrender will bring about a change in relations between coalition partners, we have to fight.”

“Lieberman chose a surrender that would lead to war,” Bennett told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.

“His hesitation and his conviction that his talks with Hamas will bring it down and bring security to the residents of the Gaza Strip are nonsense, and irresponsible behavior by Lieberman.

“The Minister of Defense, who announced that he would destroy Hamas and eliminate Haniyeh is now giving them prizes at the expense of the security of the state of Israel,” he said. “Whoever surrenders to terrorism brings terrorism.”

Bennett said that Lieberman surrendered to Hamas because he did not want to fight. He said this approach puts Israel at risk and leads to an inevitable confrontation under conditions favorable to Hamas.

Spokespeople for Lieberman responded by saying that Bennett is willing to sacrifice soldiers for his partisan political interests and that he is not acting responsibly.

They also said Bennett should be focused on his work, preparing for the school year instead of seeking political gains at the expense of the IOF soldiers.