Israel defense chief gives interview to Palestinian daily

The main Palestinian newspaper is publishing a rare interview with Israel's ultranationalist defense minister where he threatened the militant group Hamas that rules Gaza and dismissed the Palestinian president.

Avigdor Lieberman reiterated his long-held positions Monday in the daily Al Quds. But for a Palestinian paper to interview an Israeli official is unusual and it comes at a time of heightened tensions between the sides.

Lieberman dismissed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as "incapable" of signing a peace deal with Israel and threatened Hamas with "being destroyed" if they "impose war on Israel."

The Palestinian Ministry of Information issued a statement criticizing the reporter for "giving a stage to the murderer Lieberman to mix things and to pass through his terminology."

Hamas in Gaza also condemned the interview.