Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is using the recent calm between Israel and Hamas to urge Gazans to overthrow the terror group, arguing that the “peace and quiet” is preferable to Hamas’ constant state of warfare.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Lieberman announced that the Kerem Shalom crossing and a fishing area near the Gaza coast were going to be re-opened, saying that it shows Gazans that “peace and quiet are worth it.”
“The residents of Gaza have much to gain when the citizens of Israel enjoy peace and security, and much to lose when quiet is disturbed,” Lieberman wrote.
Lieberman added that he hopes Gazans realize “that Israel is not the problem, but rather the solution.”
“The problem is the Hamas leadership, which uses civilians as live ammunition and as human shields,” Lieberman wrote. “We hope for you, the residents of Gaza, that all of the budgets of Hamas and the international community will be channeled towards your welfare and to the development of the Gaza Strip, instead of to terrorism.”
After a recent escalation between Israel and Hamas, there has been relative calm on the border of Israel and Gaza Strip, although a long-term ceasefire agreement has yet to be reached.
The Times of Israel reports that the re-opening of the Kerem Shalom crossing and the fishing was part of a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas negotiated by Egypt and the United Nations.
However, Israel maintains that no long-term ceasefire agreement can be reached until Hamas agrees to releasing the four Israeli soldiers they have held captive since 2014, two of whom are dead.