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Israel will act ‘unilaterally’ on Gaza Strip, West Bank issues: Lieberman

Israel’s minister for military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, addresses the media during a visit to the Israel-Syria border in the annexed-Golan Heights, on August 7, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Israel’s minister for military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, says negotiations with Palestinian authorities on the situation in both besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied west Bank are pointless and that Tel Aviv should act on the Palestinian issue in both regions “unilaterally.”

“I’m aware of all the negotiations and all the mediators and everything going on there. The negotiations, regardless of whether they’re on Ramallah or Gaza [City], won't lead us anywhere,” he said at a press conference at Jerusalem al-Quds on Monday, referring to the capital cities of the West bank and Gaza Strip, respectively.

Lieberman’s comments came as Egypt and the United Nations are working to hammer out a lasting ceasefire between the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, which has been running the Gaza Strip since 2006, and the Israeli regime after months of tensions and violence in the occupied territories.

“All the negotiations have led us to a dead end, therefore we need to act on the Palestinian issue -- regarding Ramallah and Gaza -- unilaterally, and define the reality unilaterally, according to our understanding,” Lieberman added.

Tensions have been running high along the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland by Israel.

The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds. Israeli fire has so far taken the lives of more than 170 Palestinians since March 30.

Israel conducts regular air raids on Palestinians in Gaza under the pretext of hitting Hamas targets. The Gaza Strip has also been under an inhumane Israeli siege since 2007, causing a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty. Tel Aviv has waged three wars on the coastal enclave since 2008, including the 2014 offensive, which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead.

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