16:27 GMT17 February 2020
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    Israeli General Election 2015 (52)
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    Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman told Sputnik that the goal of his right-wing Yisrael Beytenu party is to end the Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip.

    TEL AVIV (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova – The goal of Israel's Yisrael Beytenu party after the upcoming general election is to end terrorism by defeating Hamas in the Gaza Strip and executing extremists, the party's head, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Sputnik in an interview on Monday.

    General election in Israel is scheduled for March 17. According to the latest polls, Lieberman's right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party, which currently holds 13 seats, is expected to garner only 4-5 in the 120-strong parliament.

    "To end the Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, and to make it clear to every terrorist that he deserves capital punishment" are the goals that the Yisrael Beytenu party outlined at the future coalition talks, Lieberman said.

    While Israeli laws allow for capital punishment, this measure has been used only once in the country's history, after Holocaust organizer and ardent Nazi Adolf Eichmann was found guilty of war crimes in 1962.

    "I do not see any difference between Jews, Christians or Muslims," Lieberman said, adding that the most important factor for him is "a citizen's loyalty to the country he lives in."

    Last week, a parliament member from the United Arab List party, Ahmad Tibi, criticized Lieberman for his words that Israel should "raise an axe and behead" those who oppose the state.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    © AP Photo / Gali Tibbon, Pool
    The Soviet-born Israeli foreign minister also remains unrepentant about Israel's right to expand settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law.

    Avigdor Lieberman hopes to become the country's new minister of defense after the upcoming national elections, he told Sputnik on Monday.

    "I will request the portfolio of defense minister. We hope that the results we see in the elections will allow me to take this portfolio," Lieberman said.

    The minister noted that he expected his right-wing Yisrael Beytenu party not only to pass the threshold in the parliamentary election, scheduled for March 17, but also to win "double digit" seats.

    The latest opinion polls indicate that Lieberman's party, which currently holds 13 seats in the Knesset, might win 4-5 seats in Tuesday's elections. The main battle is expected to occur between the ruling Likud party and the left-wing Zionist Union.

    Israeli General Election 2015 (52)


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    elections, Yisrael Beytenu party, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel, Gaza Strip
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