JERUSALEM: Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday said Israel was willing to pay “a price” for U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“It was obvious to us that Israel would pay a price for Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and we are willing to pay it,” Lieberman said while touring communities in southern Israel.
“We know what… to do and, most importantly, when to take the right action,” Lieberman said. “What’s important now is to bolster the Jerusalem issue.”
“We made it clear that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is non-negotiable,” he added.
Lieberman went on to say that Israel would not tolerate Palestinian attacks on Jewish communities located near the Gaza Strip.
“The strikes launched [recently by Israel] against Hamas positions [in Gaza] is a clear message to everyone that Israel is ready — more than ever — to respond to any [rocket attack],” he said.
Within the past two weeks, several rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.
While no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the army has responded by shelling several Hamas positions in the blockaded strip.
Lieberman also commented on the arrest of Ahed al-Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl, by the Israeli army at dawn Tuesday.
“Everyone around her — not only the girl, but also her relatives — will not escape what they deserve,” Lieberman said.
Al-Tamimi was taken into custody after Israeli forces raided her home in the village of Nabi Saleh in the northern West Bank.
In 2012, al-Tamimi was awarded the Hanzala Courage Award by Istanbul’s Basaksehir municipality for standing up to Israeli soldiers who had just arrested her brother.
At the time, then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey’s current president) and his wife met the Palestinian girl.
Al-Tamimi’s father, mother and brothers have all been repeatedly arrested for their fierce opposition to Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestinian land.
Tension has mounted in the Palestinian territories since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Dec. 6 a move that drew widespread condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world, as well as worldwide condemnations.
Since then, 11 Palestinians have been martyred and over 3,000 injured during several protests in West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
According to official Palestinian figures, more than 6,400 Palestinians including a number of minors are currently held in Israeli prisons.