Hours later Lieberman himself, as well as his colleagues, realized that he made a huge mistake. The first reaction to this statement was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forbidding any government minister from making any remarks about Syria.
Netanyahu and Lieberman then issued a joint statement saying: “Israel is seeking peace and wants to engage in political negotiations with Syria, without pre-conditions. Nevertheless, Israel will continue to fiercely and firmly respond to any potential threat.”
Some Israeli activists claimed that Lieberman was actually trying to pressure Israel into a war that it does not want to fight. French officials have been quoted as saying ‘hot-tempered’ Israeli Foreign Minister largely responsible for war of words between Jerusalem and Damascus.
Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defense Minister said: “We, in the security institution in Israel, believe that settlement with Syria is a strategic goal and therefore, we should sit down and discuss the issue instead of exchanging verbal threats.”