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Israeli right exchanges barbs as contacts with Hamas progress

The negotiations between Israel and Hamas are an important diplomatic step and sparking a fierce political debate among the Israeli right.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman visits Gaza's Kerem Shalom crossing, the strip's main commercial border terminal, July 22, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RC1E19CDA8E0
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A controversy is escalating in Israel after recent publications suggested that a long-term arrangement between Israel and Hamas could soon be signed. And while Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman defends this approach, he is also making a point to clarify his stance on Hamas.

In a particularly long and detailed Facebook post on Aug. 19, Liberman laid out his strategy for Gaza. Liberman explained that Israel’s endgame is toppling the Hamas regime and that there are two ways to achieve it. The first is reconquering and destroying Gaza in a devastating military assault, which would come with a steep cost in Israeli troops. The second approach, which Liberman prefers, is “creating conditions in which the average resident of Gaza will take steps to replace the Hamas regime with a more pragmatic government.”

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