• Home
  • Bdm News
  • EU's Tusk Pledges 'Unprecedented' Support for Israeli, Palestinian Peace

Lieberman's Defense Ministry Takes Harsher Tone, and IDF Better Prepare

Though Lieberman has yet to implement any new measures, his ministry's new doctrine has marked the Palestinian president as Israel's main problem and is talking of war in Gaza as 'inevitable.'
The changing of the ministers at the Defense Ministry is, as expected, leading to a change in the tone emanating from the ministry. Avigdor Lieberman new approach has yet to manifest itself in actual new measures, beyond revoking the entrance permit from a senior Palestinian Authority official.
But in a conversation with journalists conducted on Wednesday by someone who we will refer to as a senior Defense Ministry official, there were messages conveyed that were decidedly differently from those put across by the previous minister, Moshe Ya’alon.
The new doctrine portrays PA President Mahmoud Abbas as the State of Israel’s main problem as the one who is conducting “diplomatic terror” against it; a future war in Gaza is inevitable; and while Israel must only fight a war of no choice over which there is a total political consensus, if there is war in Gaza it must end with the overthrow of the Hamas regime.
Ya’alon wasn’t a big fan of Abbas either, nor did he think that negotiations with the current Palestinian leadership would yield real diplomatic achievements. But the Israel Defense Forces leadership, and in the end Ya’alon as well, stressed the necessity of security cooperation with the PA to stop the wave of terror that began in October. Now, it seems that outlook has changed. The senior official said Abbas is exploiting Israel’s weakness in the diplomatic arena to attack it internationally; quoted a poll showing that 65 percent of Palestinians oppose the Abbas regime; and slammed the intervention of Mohammed al-Madani, the PA official responsible for contacts with Israel (whose entry permit was suspended), for intervening in Israeli politics.
Although the response to the killing of four civilians in the Sarona market hasn’t veered radically from defense establishment conduct in the past, there are winds of a new approach. Under Lieberman, collective punishment, to which Ya’alon and Chief of General Staff Gadi Eisenkot vehemently objected, is no longer a dirty word. For now, the work permits of some 200 relatives of the Sarona market terrorists have been revoked, as have more than 80,000 entrance permits that had been granted to Palestinians as a gesture for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. But there were hints that it wouldn’t end there.
There’s been a sharp U-turn on the return terrorists’ remains to their families. The IDF, the Shin Bet security service and the previous minister objected to holding bodies, saying it was no deterrent and only provoked the populations of those villages and towns where the terrorists lived. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, however, imposed the opposite policy in areas under police control – East Jerusalem and within the Green Line. Lieberman, it seems, prefers Erdan’s position. He has instructed not to return any bodies, saying this will help Israel gain the release of two Israeli civilians being held in Gaza, as well as the remains of two soldiers that were never recovered.
Lieberman told the IDF top brass when he met with them that he would not choose to launch a war. The senior official expressed a similar view: Israel must be cautious, not adventurous. However, he added, there should be no illusions about Hamas. Giving Gaza a port is “totally ridiculous” and the chance of reaching a diplomatic agreement with the terror group is nil (“like the chance of a cannibal becoming a vegetarian”). The group, he said, is not interested in the welfare of Gaza’s residents. It has only one objective – destroying the State of Israel – and that’s why it’s building up its military strength.
The conclusion of all this is that a military confrontation with Hamas is inevitable, but Israel needn’t rush into it, he said. When it comes, it must work to overthrow the Hamas regime. Someone will have to take charge there after the war, but not Abbas, since that wouldn’t be in Israel’s interests.
If these declarations are serious, and they certainly were presented on Tuesday as such, then the IDF is going to have to update its operational plans very quickly.

Amos Harel

Haaretz Correspondent

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.725235Schermata 2016 06 15 alle 23.11.21

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

Boycott Israeli diamond