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Israel’s Defence Minister has said in an interview that any future conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza will be the last, “because we will completely destroy them.”

Avigdor Lieberman said:

“As minister of defence, I would like to clarify that we have no intention of starting a new war against our neighbours in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, Lebanon or Syria.

But in Gaza, like the Iranians, they intend to eliminate the state of Israel…if they impose the next war on Israel, it will be their last. I would like to emphasize again: It will be their last confrontation because we will completely destroy them.”

The territory and the West Bank, which are divided by the Israeli state, comprise of territories claimed by the Palestinians as the State of Palestine. While both territories fall under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, Gaza, unlike the West Bank, has been ruled by Hamas since June 2007, after the group came to power in free elections a year earlier.

Lieberman also promised to lift the blockade on Gaza and help rebuild destroyed infrastructure if Hamas ceases its military activities against Israel.

“If Hamas stops digging tunnels, rearming and firing rockets, we will lift the blockade and build the port and airport by ourselves.”

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