Avigdor Lieberman

Any cease-fire deal with Hamas must include the ‎return of the two Israeli captives and the bodies of ‎two Israeli soldiers held by the terrorist group ‎ruling the Gaza Strip, Defense Minister Avigdor ‎Lieberman said Tuesday.‎

Lieberman, who spoke with reporters after observing ‎a military drill in the Golan Heights, said that ‎since the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire efforts have ‎gone into high gear, “there has been a dramatic ‎decrease in security incidents on the border.”‎

Monday saw IDF fire kill a Palestinian terrorist in ‎a border incident. ‎

According to available details, Israeli troops came ‎under terrorists’ fire while patrolling the security ‎fence. In response, an IDF tank fired a shell at the ‎source ‎of fire, killing one terrorist. ‎

No Israeli ‎casualties were reported in the incident.‎

Commenting on the incident, Lieberman said, “From ‎what we know, this was an isolated incident by a man ‎who was not affiliated with any Palestinian ‎terrorist group. We cannot prevent lone-wolf ‎terrorism completely. ‎

‎”What we are doing [with respect to Gaza] and what ‎is really important is to create a direct link ‎between security calm and economic incentives,” he ‎explained. ‎

‎”We have to think about things, say, 12 years down ‎the line, and ask [ourselves] what we would like to ‎see. They [the Palestinians] have to understand that ‎economic stability is tied to calm on the border. ‎

‎”I’ve been hearing countless reports about the ‎potential deal with Hamas and I say again – yes, we ‎are talking with the Egyptians, the U.N. and ‎international envoys, but as far as I’m concerned ‎there is only one type of agreement – reality on the ‎ground. We are acting unilaterally and it looks like ‎that’s the way it will continue to be.” Lieberman ‎said. ‎

The defense minister was also asked about a riot ‎that broke out during the funeral of Ahmed Mohammed ‎Hamid, an Israeli Arab killed over the weekend ‎during the attempted stabbing of an Israeli police ‎officer near the Temple Mount.‎

The Israel Police said Tuesday they would launch an ‎investigation into the events in Hamid’s funeral, ‎which was attended by 1,000 people, despite police ‎directives to the family to limit the number of ‎participants to 50.‎

The night-time funeral in Umm al-Fahm, in northern ‎Israel, turned into a riot, with participants ‎chanting, “In blood and spirit we will redeem you, ‎shahid [martyred],” setting off fireworks and firing ‎in the air.‎

‎”It is very troubling to see Israeli citizens who ‎enjoy freedoms and economic prosperity riot like ‎that. To see over 1,000 people honor a terrorist … ‎this simply attests to the fact that these people do ‎not belong in Israeli society and that their Israeli ‎citizenship is accidental,” Lieberman said.‎

‎”At least I, for one, have never hidden my opinion – ‎there’s no reason for Umm al-Fahm to continue being ‎part of the State of Israel. It should belong to ‎Palestine and I’m sure the will enjoy the same ‎liberties and economic prosperity under Abu Mazen ‎‎[Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas], ‎where they will have the benefits of the best ‎Palestinian democracy has to offer.” ‎

Also on Monday, the “Qassam generation” protest ‎movement, which represents those born in Gaza-‎vicinity communities over the past 18 years of near-‎constant rocket fire from Gaza, issued a statement ‎saying: “It was again proven that the security of ‎Gaza-border residents depends on the whims of ‎terrorists.‎

‎”The government’s irresponsibility invites terror. ‎While the government debates an agreement with the ‎leaders of Hamas, terrorists on the ground in Gaza ‎continue to shoot at Israel.‎

‎”We cannot continue living like this; the residents ‎of the Negev also deserve security and normal lives. ‎Our protest will go on until the Israeli government ‎understands it has to provide security to its ‎citizens – even if they live next to the border with ‎Hamas,” the statement said.‎