“As long as the people of Israel enjoy peace and security – they will also benefit. Violence does not pay,” Liberman told Gaza’s residents.
By: World Israel News Staff
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that the re-opening of the Kerem Shalom Crossing from Israel into Gaza after a few days of quiet in the area was a message to the residents of Gaza that “as long as the people of Israel enjoy peace and security – they will also benefit. Violence does not pay.”
Following Liberman’s decision on Tuesday, the main cargo crossing into Gaza, the Kerem Shalom Crossing, was re-opened for full activity.
In addition, the designated fishing zone off the Gaza Strip will be expanded to nine nautical miles.
The decision was made at the end of a situation assessment with IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot; Meir Ben Shabbat, head of the National Security Council; and other senior officials.
“The opening of the Kerem Shalom crossing after three days of quiet was meant to signal to the population in Gaza that maintaining the peace is first and foremost in the interest of the residents of Gaza,” Liberman stated.
Liberman also addressed the residents of Gaza directly via the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Major General Kamil Abu Rokun’s Facebook page and via the Al Monaseq website.
“I distinguish between the Hamas leadership and the ordinary residents of Gaza,” Liberman stated. “Therefore, I decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing and extend the fishing area back to nine miles, as a clear message to Gaza’s residents: Quiet pays off and violence does not pay off. The residents of Gaza have something to gain when Israeli citizens enjoy quiet and security, and something to lose when the peace is disturbed.”
“The people of Gaza must understand the State of Israel is not the problem, but the solution. The problem is the Hamas leadership that uses civilians as live ammunition and as human shields,” he added.
A security source told Israel Radio earlier this week that the goal of the gesture is to show the residents of Gaza that they have something to gain from the quiet and much to lose from the fire kite terror and the violent riots near the security fence.
Liberman addressed Gazans directly in December as well, saying, “I suggest you think about your children, their future, and start pressing Hamas leaders to change direction. Right now it’s a flight to nowhere, but if you change the direction, believe me, you’ll build a good future here. For your children, start putting pressure on the Hamas leadership.”
Israel has since experienced several rounds of warfare with Hamas.