Former Foreign Minister: We should declare state of emergency

Following yesterday's (Tuesday) terror attack in which two police officers were shot, Yisrael Beytenu conducted a tour at the Damascus Gate, in Jerusalem's Old City.

The participants were guarded by a heavy contingent of police and security forces.

"The whole Yisrael Beytenu party has come here to express our appreciation for the security forces who are here day and night in order to keep Israeli citizens safe," said party head Avigdor Lieberman. "They work hard here, taking their chances every hour and every minute. I think that, first of all, the police officers and soldiers who are stationed here deserve appreciation and respect from the entire People of Israel."

He also used the opportunity to criticize the current government. "I think that what is sadly happening is that the Prime Minister and Defense Minister have effectively set Jerusalem back many years to the period of '67 – when Jews simply didn't come here. They are afraid to visit and feel that it is impossible to walk around here, and certain don't feel safe.

"Netanyahu and Ya'alon are bad for Israel's security," he added. "What's happening here around the Damascus Gate, what happened yesterday after half of a year of this wave of terror is completely unreasonable. I can only repeat – there was no need to wait half a year in order to toughen the legislation on punishing illegal squatters, their employers and their helpers. There was no need to wait half a year in order to close all of the gaps around Jerusalem and in Tarqumiyah."

Lieberman then called for a change in the way terror is handled. "The solution is a change in policy. The policy of containing terror or trying to buy quiet with a lot of money – all this has failed. Netanyahu is very strong in words, he's strong on the television, strong in slogans, but he is very weak in actions. What must be done to eradicate terror is simply to change the policy.

"After half a year of terror we can talk about declaring a state of emergency. And about the illegal squatters in the Israeli Knesset, the same Arab List that, until now, has not denounced the murder of tourists and Israeli citizens yet goes out to defend Hezbollah. Of course these are terrorists sitting in the Israeli Knesset. We must act directly to ban them.

"We must return to targeted assassinations. We must stop funding terror. The largest funder of terror is the Israeli government. After half a billion shekels [$128 million US] was given to Abu Mazen [another name for PA President Mahmoud Abbas] a week and a half ago, we got a refusal to denounce attacks from him."

An Arutz Sheva reporter asked the former Foreign Minister about Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's comment that Liberman is blowing slogans into the air. "I hear a lot of nonsense. I only deal with serious things and not nonsense. Ya'alon's remarks border on being bad jokes. I said that, if we don't succeed in in eradicating terror in Gaza, it will reach Judea and Samaria, and from there to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv," he responded.

As what message he would offer US Vice President Joe Biden, Lieberman answered: "There is one solution to defeat terror and all the rest is irrelevant. If someone thinks that you can lead a political process alongside terror he is mistaken. As long as we do not defeat terror, there will be no political process."

He also offered a statement in English: "My position is, first of all, to suffocate terror. And only afterwards we will be ready to speak about some solutions or some ideas. But again, we need a reliable partner and we don't have a reliable partner on the other side. Abu Mazen refused to condemn the murder of an American tourist. And I think it's plain what really happens today in Israel and what is the approach of the Palestinian Authority to the terror. They are playing a double game and they support all this wave of terror."



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