Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, urged early elections on Wednesday after announcing his resignation following a controversial Gaza ceasefire deal.
“We should agree on a date for elections as early as possible,” Lieberman told journalists, while sharply criticising the ceasefire that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended.
The Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced his resignation on Wednesday and called for early elections after a sharp disagreement over a Gaza ceasefire deal, throwing the government into turmoil.
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“What happened yesterday –- the truce combined with the process with Hamas — is capitulating to terror. It has no other meaning,” Lieberman told journalists in explaining his reasons for resigning.
“What we’re doing now as a state is buying short-term quiet, with the price being severe long-term damage to national security.”
He added later: “We should agree on a date for elections as early as possible.”
Lieberman also said his party was leaving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, leaving the premier with only a one-seat majority in parliament.
Elections are not due until November 2019, but Lieberman’s resignation increases the likelihood of an earlier vote.
Lieberman, a security hardliner, heads the right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party, which holds five seats in the 120-seat Knesset, or parliament.
Netanyahu has defended Tuesday’s ceasefire deal that ended the worst escalation between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza since a 2014 war.
Meanwhile, Islamist movement, Hamas, called Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation on Wednesday following a controversial ceasefire deal a “political victory for Gaza.”
Lieberman described the ceasefire ending the worst escalation between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza since a 2014 war “capitulating to terror” and said he was quitting his post.