NOTE: This article was posted from New York prior to the start of the holy Sabbath.
Hamas terrorist operatives led their minions on the Gaza street in celebrating the official last day of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman at the Ministry of Defense.
Political cartoons, commentaries and photos showing young male Gazans handing out candies and pastries to passersby on the street and in the marketplace to celebrate the occasion photos were rife on Arabic-language social media.
Liberman spent his last official day as Defense Minister was Friday with senior IDF officers and soldiers in the Gaza Division, and at a meeting with civilian security heads from communities in the Gaza Belt region.
“We are currently feeding a monster. If we don’t stop allowing it to rearm and build its force, in one more year we’ll have Hezbollah’s twin, with all that entails,” he warned.
He slammed the Israeli government for agreeing to effectively “give immunity” to Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization by agreeing to a ceasefire barely a day after the group fired more than 460 rockets, mortar shells and missiles at southern Israeli civilians.
Likewise, he called the funding transferred last week to Gaza by Qatar — agreed to by Egypt, the United Nations, the United States and Israel — “purely $15 million of terror funding,” warning that the oversight mechanism that is supposed to be place to ensure the money is used for civil service salaries, “is a sham. As soon as that money crosses the border . . . there’s no oversight at all.”
Liberman’s decision to pull his Yisrael Beitenu party out of the coalition nearly toppled the Netanyahu coalition, and may yet do so; Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett has long coveted the defense portfolio but few if any of the other coalition partners are willing to allow him to serve in the position, due to his uncompromising — some call them “extremist” — positions on security.
Early Friday, Bennett’s party delivered an ultimatum, saying if he was not given the position of defense minister, they too would withdraw from the coalition, thus ensuring the collapse of the government and forcing the advent of early elections. Later in the day, however, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Bennett, and the two came to a shaky agreement, if only temporarily.
Bennett himself appeared to have reconsidered his position, at least for the time being, and heading into the Sabbath in Israel, a fragile agreement to keep the coalition together for the time being seemed to be holding in place.