Israel to Lebanon: If Israelis ‘forced to sit in shelters, all of Beirut will too’

“Lebanon’s army and Hezbollah are the same — they will all pay the full price in the event of an escalation,” Liberman said.

By: World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday warned that Lebanon would “pay the full price” if Hezbollah attacks Israel. “If citizens of Tel Aviv are forced to sit in shelters, all of Beirut will too,” warned Liberman.

Responding to questions posed by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin during the 11th Annual International Conference at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Liberman said that Israel is determined and ready to contend with all scenarios, emphasizing the need to include not just Hezbollah, but also Lebanon and Syria as part of the northern front in the event of a war.

Israel will end any flare up in the north as fast as possible with a decisive victory, Liberman asserted. If given the choice, the IDF would rather not to have boots on the ground, but Israel must be ready for that.

Lebanon’s army and Hezbollah are the same — they will all pay the full price in the event of an escalation,” Liberman said.

With regard to the nuclear deal with Iran, Liberman said that it is a bad deal because it gave legitimacy to Iran’s nuclear program, its military plans, and its missile development. The deal put the Middle East into a nuclear weapons race, he said.

Liberman emphasized that Iran is a threat to the entire world, not just Israel, and Israel must convince the international community of this. “The Iran deal has to be changed,” he said.

Abbas dragging his feet

As for relations with the Palestinians, Liberman stated that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is not interested in any agreement, and has dragged his feet for many years. He uses a strategy of wearing Israel down with a long and never-ending process, warned Liberman

“All we can do is work on managing the conflict with the Palestinians. The only solution, for now, is to reach a more limited agreement. A permanent peace deal is too ambitious right now,” he stated.

Liberman responded that he believed that the main thing preventing an agreement with the Palestinians is the gap in GDP between Israel and the Palestinians, and that Abbas has been preventing economic stability, which is an Israeli security interest.

When asked what he would like to see in a peace agreement, Liberman stated that Israel’s conflict is with the Arab world, the Palestinians, and the Israeli Arabs. Therefore, he would like a package deal, with an Israeli embassy in every moderate Arab state and open skies between Israel and the Arab world.

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When asked about a personal moment when he needed to make a difficult decision and when he was moved, Liberman responded that he was very moved when he became defense minister, as a new immigrant who had come to Israel with nothing. As for difficult decisions, as the defense minister, he must make them every day.