On the evening of Feb. 22, the chair of the Yisrael Beitenu party, former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, dropped a bomb in the Channel 12 “Meet the Press” studio. He revealed — in violation of the military censor’s gag order — that the head of the Mossad and the military commander of Israel’s southern front had visited Qatar two weeks ago at the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“They simply begged the Qataris to keep sending money to Hamas after March 30. The Qataris have said they will stop sending money on March 30,” Liberman said, striking at his rival’s soft underbelly. “Suddenly Netanyahu appears as the defender of Hamas, as though it was an environmental organization,” he added, reminding viewers that in 2019, Hamas fired 1,500 rockets at Israel, killing four civilians. “This is a policy of submission to terror … and paying protection money [to Hamas to buy calm]," lashed out the man who holds the balance of power in Israeli politics these days and will likely determine who the next prime minister will be after the March 2 elections.