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February 2, 2015

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Lieberman: Third war with Hezbollah, fourth with Hamas are inevitable

In March 17 election, choice between Likud’s Netanyahu and Labor’s Herzog is a choice between ‘populism’ and ‘naivete,’ foreign minister says.

By Haaretz | Feb. 1, 2015 | 2:02 PM |
Lieberman presents his party's Knesset slate, January 19, 2015.

 Lieberman presents his party’s Knesset slate, January 19, 2015. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that Israel would inevitably have to fight a third war with Hezbollah and a fourth operation against Hamas.

He told Ynet, the website of the Israeli daily Yedioth Aharonoth, that Israel did not respond sharply enough to Hezbollah’s anti-tank-missile attack on Wednesday, which killed two Israeli soldiers.

He said Israel decided to “contain this incident” rather than respond.

Lieberman’s interview with Ynet followed similar harsh remarks he madeon his Facebook page on Thursday. There, he called Israel’s response a “serious blow to Israel’s deterrence capabilities.”

As for Hamas, he said assertions that the group’s members are “begging and … on their knees” are simply “stories.” He said Hamas is rebuilding its arsenal every week.

And regarding the election, set for March 17, he touted his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, as the only force for “decisive action” in Israeli politics.

The choice between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Likud – with whom Lieberman was allied in the previous Israeli government – and Isaac Herzogin Labor is a choice between “populism” and “naivete,” Lieberman told the paper.