Liberman: Israel not interested in escalation with Hamas

Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman addressed on Thursday night the missiles fired from Gaza into Israel over the preceding two days. He stated that he had “no intention of launching a military operation.”

He continued, “At the same time, we won’t tolerate any firing and any provocation from anyone against citizens of Israel or violating the State of Israel’s sovereignty. No shooting and no flotilla.” Liberman was speaking at an awards ceremony for outstanding officers and non-commissioned officers in the IDF in Tel Aviv.

The minister continued, “Every (missile) fired from Gaza into the sovereign territory of the State of Israel will receive a powerful response. As the minister of Defense, I can say on behalf of the Israeli government that we are a responsible and prudent leadership. We aren’t looking for adventures, and nobody is pushing for an escalation with Hamas in Gaza, but we are determined to protect the safety of citizens of the State of Israel, and there will be no compromise on this point.

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“Hamas rules the strip with a firm hand, and when it wants to attain something or prevent something, it knows how to do that. So on the matter of various rogue elements: They can try harder.”

At the beginning of his speech, Liberman sent his condolences to the family of Capt. Ohad Cohen Nov, the IDF pilot who was killed on Wednesday in a crash, adding that the deputy squadron leader was “an excellent and appreciated officer. Salt of the Earth.”

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