UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) – Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the army was efficient, capable and fully prepared to fight the “war” more than ever before.
“I think that since 1967, there has been no state of preparedness and fitness for the IDF, as is the case today,” Lieberman said in an interview with the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. “In a reference to the war in which Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip Gaza, the Egyptian Sinai area, and the Syrian Golan Heights.
Lieberman was commenting on a report by the former head of the IDF complaints committee, Yitzhak Barak, in mid-September to IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Lieberman, in which he estimated the IDF’s lack of readiness for any future war.
Lieberman said: “I read the report, I spoke more than once with (Yitzhak) Brick and has important comments in his report, and I think he was wrong on one big issue on this subject,” in reference to the subject of the readiness of the Israeli army for war.
“The army is ready for war. I say this not only because I feel it, but as a person who has been in the government for decades.”
“As an informed person, I say that we are at the height of readiness since the Six Day War (the 1967 war). This is not because there are problems. In the end, the talk is about a machine with hundreds of thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands in the air force and a weapon. Artillery and snipers.”
“It would never be perfect, but when I compare things over the years, since 1967, there has not been as much preparation as it is today,” he said.
– The situation in Gaza –
Lieberman reiterated his criticism of Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who said days ago that Lieberman’s “restraint” policy failed to stop Palestinian protests in the Gaza Strip.
“I suggest that Minister Bennett speak about education, not about security,” Lieberman said.
“I do not want to invade Gaza. I do not want to grant citizenship to tens of thousands of Palestinians, but I want to preserve a Jewish state.”
“All the citizens of Israel must decide what they want: a binational state like Bennett wants, or, as I suggest, a Jewish state.”
Lieberman said Hamas was “heating up” the situation in the Gaza Strip because it “understands that it is losing power and is therefore trying to direct public anger at Israel.”
“That is why we can expect to try to heat conditions in Gaza,” he said.
“We are not looking for escalation and adventure, and I hope that the people of Gaza will destroy the Hamas regime.”
Egypt is mediating between the Palestinian factions and the Israeli government to stabilize the Gaza Strip and allow the implementation of projects in the water, electricity and sewage sectors in the Gaza Strip.
– Early elections –
On the other hand, Lieberman saw no need for early elections to be held by the end of next year.
“There are those who have already started an election campaign, and I see no reason to hold early elections. We have a functioning government,” he said, calling for elections to be held on time.
Israeli police investigations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in near-corruption and disagreements within the government have led to the emergence of estimates of the possibility of early general elections.
– Iranian missile factories –
On the other hand, Lieberman said in an interview with the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation (official) this morning that Israel “has information about Iranian missile factories and other Hezbollah organization in Lebanon.”
He pointed out that this information “additional”, than those mentioned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his address to the General Assembly of the United Nations last week.
Netanyahu has indicated that his government has information on four sites for the manufacture of precision rockets in the Lebanese capital Beirut.
Lieberman said in reference to the new information: “We will disclose them later,” without giving further details.