Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman lashed out at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday, criticizing the government's policy in dealing with the current wave of terrorism and calling for practical measures on the ground to eradicate the sources of terrorism.
Speaking in Tel Aviv, Liberman said that Netanyahu’s "conduct in the face of the wave of terrorism is catastrophic. To eradicate terrorism, you have to hit its sources: the ideological source – incitement, and the financial source. Once you give those sources immunity, you have no chance against terrorism."
He called for the resumption of targeted killings of terrorists, saying, "Terrorism continues to dig tunnels and produce long-range missiles. There is no need to conquer Gaza, but we need to disrupt the terrorists’ everyday lives."
"The largest funder of Palestinian terrorism is the State of Israel,” charged Liberman. “All the families of Palestinian terrorists receive from [Palestinian Authority chairman] Mahmoud Abbas, regardless of organizational affiliation, 14-15 thousand shekels from money the PA receives from Netanyahu, from the taxes we collect on their behalf, but which they actually use to fund terrorism in a breach of the agreements with them. There is no reason for us to continue giving them that money."
Liberman rejected any possibility that his party will join Netanyahu’s government, saying, "Yisrael Beytenu is a rightist secular party. We call to move from a policy of containment to a policy of decision-making – but it is not happening, and in the context of religion and state Netanyahu is committed more to the haredim. For example, the equal burden law was abolished only recently and billions were distributed to the haredim in the last budget over bizarre things."
Sources in the Likud commented on Liberman’s remarks and said that "there are those who fight terrorism and those who babble."
"Liberman's understanding of the war against terror amounts to automatic shooting of empty slogans that any connection between them and reality is purely coincidental," the sources added.
They stressed that Netanyahu, the Cabinet, the IDF and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) are "fighting terror on all fronts and at all levels and do not require the grades of Mr. Liberman."