Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigns over Gaza ceasefire

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigns over Gaza ceasefire

His decision takes effect 48 hours after he puts it in writing.

The flare-up, which saw seven Gazans killed in 24 hours as the Israeli aerial bombardment flattened buildings and sent fireballs and plumes of smoke into the sky, was the worst between Israel and Palestinian militants since a 2014 war.

Palestinians stand next to an Israeli rocket that did not explode after an Israeli air strike, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 13, 2018.

"It's no secret that there were differences between Netanyahu and me", he said, calling the cease-fire a "surrender to terror" and denying he ever supported it.

The clash that resulted from the blown covert operation martyred seven Palestinians, including a local Hamas military commander, as well as an Israeli army officer. The blockade has ravaged Gaza's economy, and Israel refuses to lift it unless Hamas disarms, a demand rejected by the militant group, which is pledged to Israel's destruction.

The groups, including Hamas, issued a joint statement saying they would abide by the ceasefire as long as Israel did the same.

Another key coalition partner in Netanyahu's government, Habayit Hayehudi (headed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett), said that unless the defense portfolio goes to Bennett, the party will also quit the coalition.

Those efforts had appeared to be making progress in recent days as Israel allowed Qatar to deliver financial aid to the cash-strapped Hamas administration, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that he wanted to avert an "unnecessary" war in Gaza.

This contradicted a government leak, most likely from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, that acceptance of the ceasefire had been unanimous.

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"Leadership also means standing up to criticism when you know things that are classified and which you can not share with the public that you love", he said in a speech. I can not detail our plans for the future.

Tit-for-tat rocket barrages and airstrikes occurred alongside the protests, while some Gazans began launching incendiary balloons against Israeli agricultural communities on the other side of the border fence.

Less than a day after Likud supporters demonstrated against Netanyahu in the southern city of Sderot, demanding harsher retaliation in Gaza after over 400 rockets were launched from the Strip into Israel, Liberman is now relying on public resentment toward the prime minister's "lenient" response - which had the support of all the heads of the security establishment. "The citizens of Israel owe him a huge debt", Netanyahu said.

The agreements had led to calmer protests along the Gaza border after months of deadly unrest.

Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters at U.N. headquarters that "we are grateful for the Egyptians who are mediating".

"It only lets us suffer, nothing more". Since March, Israelis have been subjected to intense periods of rocket attacks as well as fire kite and balloon attacks that have burned thousands of acres of farmland and nature reserves.

Addressing reporters after the 50-minute meeting, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said the council was "paralyzed" and had "failed to shoulder its responsibility" to take action to end the violence.

Palestinians in Gaza faced widespread destruction after the Israeli military targeted 160 sites.

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