Israel's Lieberman breaks alliance with Netanyahu

2014-07-07 16:55

Jerusalem - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday ended a 20-month political alliance between his party and the ruling rightwing Likud, although his faction will remain in government.

The decision was announced at a press conference after a bitter dispute between Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the government's handling of intensifying rocket fire by militants in the Gaza Strip.

Lieberman, who heads the rightwing nationalist Yisrael Beitenu had formed an electoral alliance with Netanyahu's Likud in October 2012 ahead of a January 2013 election, in a move they said would enable them to better face security challenges.

The new bloc, which was quickly dubbed Likud Beitenu, won a narrow electoral victory, taking 31 of the Knesset's 120 seats, just 12 more than its closest challenger, the centrist Yesh Atid party.

But following a dispute with Netanyahu over Gaza, which saw Lieberman pushing for a full reoccupation of the territory, the minister decided to end their electoral alliance.

"It's no secret that there are fundamental disagreements which no longer allow us to work together, so we have advised the Knesset committee that we are separating and setting up a separate faction," he said.

It was not immediately clear how many seats each faction would hold.

Lieberman also commented on ongoing rocket fire from Gaza, which has been steadily increasing over the past three weeks, although Israel has so far taken only limited measures in response, with Netanyahu on Sunday urging his ministers to "act responsibly".

"In Operation Pillar of Defence, Israel made significant achievements: from the liquidation of Hamas's military chief of staff to the destruction of 95% of its long-range missiles," Lieberman said, referring to the last major Israeli operation in November 2012.

"Today, they now have hundreds of missiles with a range of 80km," he said.

"This reality in which we live - with hundreds of missiles held by a terror organisation which could decide to use them at any moment - is unacceptable.

"It is not clear what we are waiting for."

  • Dini Ahmeddin - 2014-07-07 18:47

    “After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything”. quote of Golda Meir, former prime minister of Israel

  • Kevin Lester - 2014-07-07 19:43

    Two cheeks of the same backside!

  • Patrick Bruintjies - 2014-07-07 20:20

    My only wish is that,as happened to myself others eyes would be opened.I believed 100% that the Jews are the special people of God according to the bible.Today I see a cruel oppression of Palestinian people based on race.Imagine someone in my street having murdered a person in another street,then all off us being bombed in our street because we are are collectively being held responsible.Those persons keeping defending Israel are equally responsible for the war crimes of Israel.Its not an Anti-Semitic issue.Its about humanity.I don't hate Jews I hate the actions of the Israel state!

      Robert Fourie - 2014-07-08 06:02

      Israel has no choice but to defend itself. Its of no surprise that Israel is the only safe heaven of Christians in the middle east. Israeli self defence is not a crime, I will go further, Israeli self defence is not even that bad... But It is the most documented in order to brain wash the sheep with billions of Arab propaganda . Israel is a light onto the nations in a darkness that is the sick Islamic middle east. Israel is a democracy, the only democracy that has given rights to Christians in this hell hole, I will go further do say that he only free Muslims who have been able to vote the last 7 decades are those of Israel and they make up 20 percent of Israel's population. Israel has every right to defend itself from herds of murderous camel jockeys. If anything Patrick, you eyes have closed. If the palestinas want to end their suffering they must just stop attacking Israel and their suffering would end because Israel would have no one to defend against. Your blind Patrick, may God have mercy on your soul.

  • Abdullah Thul Bi Jardayn - 2014-07-08 08:29

    Robert fourie you are the blindest most dumbest person the earth has seen, Who the hell gave the zionist jews the right to steal palestine from the Muslims in the first place?????. Btw the christians lived a far more happier life under the Muslims than they are now living under the zionist oppressing jews. These zionist jews come into the muslims land, steal their homes their businesses, kill their families rape their mothers and sisters, bulldoze their homes and you expect the remaining members to not retaliate, You speak about proof and facts yet provide none and than you want to comment on the Quraan, yet you know nothing about the Quraan. Answer my 1st question than we can go on, or else im waisting my time with waste like yourself

      Robert Fourie - 2014-07-08 09:18

      Maybe because it didn't belong to the Muslims in the first place? Check your facts, not only did we Christians own the land before Muslims the Jews owned it first. They are the indiginous people of the land which makes the rest of the dribble your wrote nonsense. Lastly, Christians are being ethnically cleansed from Egypt, Iraq, Syria and the rest of the Arab world and EVEN THE GAZA STRIP! In Israel the Christian community is multiplying so please save your lies to someone who cares.

      Abdullah Thul Bi Jardayn - 2014-07-08 14:52

      Any proof of the ethinic cleansing of christians by THE SUNNI MUSLIMS bob.

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