Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman appeared before the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, for the first time in this capacity.

”The Iranian threat remains the greatest threat to the State of Israel,” Liberman told the committee headed by MK Avi Dichter (Likud).”Iran is moving forward with its missile program, as well as its military program, with full force, and one does not have to guess what the objective of this missile program is.”

”During the military parade in Tehran we saw the words `Israel should be annihilated` written in Hebrew. The fact that the world`s countries are trying to ignore a blatant violation of the UN Security Council resolutions regarding the agreement they themselves had signed with Iran – this calls for further examination,” the minister stated.

Defense Minister Liberman: ”Iran remains greatest threat to Israel”

(Minister Liberman appears before Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee)

”I do not know of any other country that is currently dealing with as many threats as Israel is: ISIS on the Sinai border, Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and al-Qaeda in Syria,” Liberman continued. ”All of our enemies are planning to turn the next conflict into an attack on the Israeli home front; on civilian population. It is obvious that in the next conflict there will be an attempt to harm innocent people. This is why the home front is a very high priority for us.”

”If someone is trying to force a conflict on us – every conflict must end [with a decisive victory]. We must erase any motivation our enemies have to test us a second time, if they try to test us a first time. But first we must erase any will and motivation to mess with us,” Liberman said.

During the meeting, Liberman also addressed the terror emanating from Gaza and the West Bank, noting that a new `carrot and stick” policy is being developed for areas from which terror attacks emanate and for other areas where there is no terror-related activity.

Addressing assessments that an improved economic situation for the Palestinians would reduce the level of terror, the defense minister said that this is generally true, but Hamas takes advantage of this. The number of entry permits issued to Palestinians tripled between 2013 and 2015, and during this period there was also a spike in incidents in which these permits were used to carry out terror attacks, Liberman told the committee.

In this regard, the defense minister said that Hebron, for example, is an extremist hotbed from which many terror attacks have emanated recently, despite the city being a large and prosperous Palestinian commercial center.

Liberman also addressed the leaks from cabinet meetings, saying they prevent serious and in-depth debate.