Israel’s Liberman suggests U.N. authority for Gaza

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, said a United Nations mandate can take control of the Gaza Strip.

“In the case of Kosovo, we saw a U.N. mandate work and therefore, I think we need to bring back a U.N. mandate in the region,” he was quoted as saying Monday by The Jerusalem Post.

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Liberman also said during a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Gaza operation was not over.

“What we’ve decided is an end to the stage of taking care of the tunnels. There is no decision about ending the operation,” he said, according to the Times of Israel.

Liberman told The Jerusalem Post, “The goal, as far as we’re concerned, is to bring quiet, get rid of the threat of the rockets and prevent Hamas from growing stronger.”

The foreign minister said there are three options for Gaza: a diplomatic arrangement such as a cease-fire; destroying Hamas; or “limbo,” where Israel responds to rocket fire from Gaza.

If Hamas is eradicated, Liberman suggested the U.N. authority for control of Gaza.

Also Monday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for the international community to impose a political solution to end the operation in Gaza.

“How many more deaths will it take to stop what must be called the carnage in Gaza?” Fabius said in a statement. “The tradition of friendship between Israel and France is an old one and Israel’s right to security is total, but this right does not justify the killing of children and the slaughter of civilians.”