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Photo: Eli Elgarat
Olmert talks tough
Photo: Eli Elgarat
Olmert: Hamas doesn't scare us
Speaking at combat soldiers' convention, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says 'Hamas doesn't threaten our lives,' adds he hopes Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas does not quit his post
Israel will continue to fight terror but will also seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday evening, speaking at a combat soldiers' convention in honor of ailing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

 

"In the next four years we will act to separate from the Palestinians in order to live in a country with a solid Jewish majority," Olmert
said. "Hamas doesn't scare us, it doesn't threaten our lives, and we're not frightened by it. But we're unwilling to assume there's no chance for any kind of diplomatic initiative."

 

"We'll fight Hamas, we'll fight terror, but we'll seek out every way to find a diplomatic horizon that includes living together on the basis of a compromise that will guarantee the State of Israel's Jewish character," Olmert said. "We'll fight it (Hamas) if necessary and we'll dictate the terms and timetables."

 

After leaving the convention, Olmert said he hopes Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas does not quit.

 

Addressing earlier remarks by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who said Abbas was no longer relevant, Olmert said her words were not properly understood and added there are no disagreements between him and Livni on the matter.

 

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who also spoke at the convention, said: "Arik (Sharon) turned 78 yesterday. Had he been able to be here with us, this meeting could have been considered a wonderful birthday gift for him."

 

"The journey led by Sharon won't stop," Mofaz added.

 

Addressing the same issue, Olmert said he was deeply touched by being at the event without Sharon.

 

"Arik Sharon was an incredibly brave fighter and served at all the battlefields where the State of Israel's destiny was set," he said.

 


First published: 27.02.06, 22:59
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