RNA - During an interview with the Palestinian al-Quds newspaper published on Monday, Avigdor Lieberman said he would "completely destroy" Hamas in any future conflict with the Gaza Strip.
Lieberman also made a series of controversial remarks during the interview, such as a death threat against Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, and also about Hamas’ disarming.
In reaction to Lieberman’s remarks, Hamas spokesman Hazem Kassem said that its military capabilities were legitimate means for resistance. "The tunnels, rockets and weapons are legitimate resistance to Israel's occupation."
Hamas official Fathi Hammed also slammed the remarks made in the interview. “Neither Lieberman nor others; all previous defense ministers have threatened us and all of them have died. The last of them is (Shimon) Peres who is resting in the tombs of hell. So we are in no way afraid and this is a powerful message from Gaza to Lieberman,” he said.
The Palestinian Ministry of information also censured the interview, stressing that it gave a platform to Lieberman, whom it referred to as a murderer.
Likewise, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement about Lieberman’s comments. "Lieberman is trying to subtly drive a wedge between the Palestinian people, the Palestinian leadership and repeats his attacks on (President of the Palestinian Authority) Mahmoud Abbas like a broken record. He is deluding himself that he has the ability to find a Palestinian partner for peace that suits his own views," it read.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and poverty.
Israel has also launched several wars on the Palestinian sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014. The 50-day military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed thousands of Palestinians and injured many more.