WASHINGTON - "We don't believe in (arriving to) a situation whereby Hamas can choose when it attacks and when it doesn't in order to strengthen itself," Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Monday during a trip to Washington, DC.
She added that the problem of weapons smuggling from Egypt into the Gaza Strip cannot be neglected.
Livni, who appeared in front of a group of senior researchers and experts on the Middle East, referred to Iranian nuclear ambitions saying: "We see that there is an understanding by the international community that it cannot allow Iran to become a nuclear power, but the price is not clear enough."
According to Livni, "in the Middle East, every hesitation is taken as weakness. The states in the region are testing the leadership in the international community.
"Iran can become a dangerous regional and global player even before it gets the bomb if the Arab and Muslim worlds think the world has surrendered in its handling of the Iranian nuclear program."
The foreign minister has been holding a series of political meetings in the United States. On Monday evening, she is expected to meet with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as well as with National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. On Tuesday she plans to have a sit-down with Vice President Dick Cheney and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Foreign Minister Livni is expected to stress two main principles in her meetings: Firstly, the Palestinian state that is supposed to come into being will provide an answer for all Palestinians, including those in refugee camps; and secondly, that Israel's security must be preserved.