Liberman Resigns
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Sirens went off near the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon as the Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted a rocket that was reportedly fired from the Gaza Strip during the night between Sunday and Monday.

Former Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman levelled harsh criticism against the cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over its response to the latest rocket attack from the Gaza Strip.

“This morning we again heard the cabinet members threatening Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The problem is that the terrorist leaders, at best, laugh at Israel’s threats”, Lieberman wrote on his Facebook page.

He also slammed the cabinet over the reported conditions of the truce between Tel Aviv and Hamas that was reached on 13 November. Lieberman accused the Israeli government of paying $30 billion to Hamas, providing broader fishing areas to the enclave’s inhabitants and immunity to Hamas leaders instead of showing a firm military response.

“This is a complete bankruptcy of the government”, Lieberman added.

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a missile fired from the Gaza Strip at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. Haarez later reported that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) had attacked several Hamas targets in Gaza in response. Earlier on Sunday, an IDF helicopter struck two other Hamas targets in the enclave after a “suspicious cluster of balloons” was launched from the Gaza Strip towards southern Israeli territories.

Israel and Hamas struck a bilateral truce on 13 November following several days of intense shelling coming from both sides. The Israeli military said that it had intercepted over 100 out of the 460 rockets fired from Gaza and attacked 160 Hamas-related targets in the enclave.

According to a report by the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, the truce draft included provisions of a partial lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel and an expansion of its fishing zone. The draft also suggested that the Palestinian Authority would pay 80% of Hamas civil servants’ salaries, with Qatar providing funding for these payments. It’s unclear whether these provisions were included in the truce.

The ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas triggered harsh criticism from then Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is an advocate of a hard-line approach to dealing with Hamas. He announced his resignation, claiming that the truce would cause “severe long-term damage to national security”.

Contributed by Sputnik News