The leader of the Jewish ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party raised an uproar after calling for the execution of Israeli Arab MPs who have been in contact with members of Hamas.
"During the Nuremberg trials at the end of World War II not only the criminals but their accomplices were executed. I hope this will be the fate of the collaborators in this house too," Avigdor Lieberman said in parliament.
Several Israeli Arab MPs have met in recent weeks with members of the Hamas government, with which the Israeli government has cut all ties over its refusal to renounce violence.
Israel, the United States and the
European Union consider Hamas a terror organisation.
Yisrael Beitenu was left out of the coalition government led by Ehud Olmert’s Kadima party after talks between the sides collapsed.
"We demanded that the (government) guidelines specifically mention that all those who incite and collaborate with terrorism sitting in this house bear the full punishment," Lieberman said.
"All those who continue to meet freely with Hamas and Hezbollah and travel time and again to Lebanon" should be punished, Lieberman said.
Hezbollah is a Shiite party in Lebanon whose militia spearheaded a guerrilla campaign that drove Israeli troops out of the south of the country six years ago. It continues to harrass Israeli forces in the disputed Shebaa Farms area.
"There is an anti-terror law, and according to it justice should be dealt to all those who collaborate," he said.
Israeli Arab MP Ahmed Tibi said in reaction that "it is a serious thing to compare members of the Knesset (parliament) to Nazi criminals because of their ethnic group."
"Lieberman has allowed the spilling of the blood of Arab MPs," he said.
Arab Israeli MPs have regular meetings with Hamas representatives.
One of the lawmakers, Azmi Bishara, met Hamas foreign minister Mahmud al-Zahar in Qatar last month.
Israeli Arab MP Taleb a-Sanah, who also met Hamas leaders in recent months, branded Lieberman’s statement as "incitement," and called the Russian-born MP a "sick person."
Following the storm of reactions that was raised by his statement, Lieberman came again to the podium but refused to back-track.
"There is no difference between Neturei Kartha and the Islamic movement — both of them collaborate with the Islamic terrorism," he said.
The Neturei Kartha are a small group of ultra-Orthodox Jews who consider the creation of the Jewish state an abomination and call for its destruction. Several of their leaders have met with Iranian and Hamas leader in recent months.
"I do not intend to take back one word of what I said. I plan on implementing every word," Lieberman said in parliament amid loud protests from other lawmakers.