Avigdor Lieberman the Foreign Minister of Israel has ended a political alliance he has with Benjamin Netanyahu the Prime Minister. On Monday, he accused the Israeli leader of not responding with tougher measures to the increase in rockets being fired into Southern Israel by Palestinian militants.
Despite the criticism of Netanyahu, Leiberman said his party Yisrael Beitenu, which is rightwing nationalist, would remain in Netanyahu’s governing coalition and that the other ministers in the party as well as he would remain on the cabinet.
Netanyahu and Lieberman have had their differences over how the country should respond to the increased rocket fire coming from the Gaza Strip since last week after a Palestinian teenager was murdered.
Six settlers who were described as being extremists by the domestic intelligence service in Israel Shin Bet were taken into custody on Sunday on the suspicion of murdering the Palestinian teen who was burned alive.
As the rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip continued into southern Israel, Lieberman endorsed a large attack on the Strip in order to destroy stockpiles of missiles and dismantle the Islamic militant groups Hamas that is ruling the coastal enclave.
Meanwhile, the military in Israel has urged Hamas to keep the violence under control while appealing for calm.
Tensions boiled over during a weekly meeting of the cabinet on Sunday. Netanyahu warned Lieberman as well as Naftali Bennett the Economics Minister against brash and inflammatory rhetoric.
In announcing the break with Netanyahu Monday, Lieberman said the plea by the Israeli government for quiet had been a mistake.
On Monday, Hamas said that seven members of its wing of the military had been killed in an overnight airstrike by Israel. The airstrikes came as a form of retaliation for the mortar and rocket fire cross border by the militant Palestinian factions from the coastal enclave.
Tensions have spiraled out of control since three Israel teens were abducted and killed. That in turned caused furor in Israel and a Palestinian teen was burned alive.