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Former Israeli Defense Minister Calls for Seizing Southern Lebanon

Israel’s Former Defense Minister and well-known war hawk Avigdor Lieberman has said that Israel must “close off” a portion of southern Lebanon as tensions and rocket exchanges have continued to grow between the two countries.

“We will not annex anything, and we will not build settlements, but we will release the territory only when there is a government in Beirut that knows how to exercise its sovereignty,” Lieberman said during his Yisrael Beitenu party’s weekly faction meeting. “Everything between the Litani [River] and Israel must be under the control of the IDF,” he said, adding that “If Lebanon won’t pay in territory we haven’t done anything.” The Litani River travels in an east-west stretch in Lebanon, at a distance of about 10 miles north of the Lebanon-Israel border.

According to a report in the Times of Israel, Lieberman compared this proposal to the post World War II military occupation of Germany.