Tough stand. Livni
Photo: Alex Kolomoysky
Livni: If fired upon, we'll fire back
UN chief calls foreign minister to voice concerns over claims of humanitarian crisis in Gaza; Livni says international community must denounce rocket fire on Israeli towns

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Thursday, and voiced the UN's concerns over Palestinian reports of a humanitarian crisis in the Strip.


Ban also told Livni that the UN was displeased with the latest Israeli decision to close the goods crossings with the Strip – a decision made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak following the continued rocket fire on the western Negev from armed Palestinian groups in Gaza.


Sources in the Foreign Ministry described the conversation as strident, with Livni reportedly telling Ban at one point that "anyone who thinks we will not fire back when fired upon in mistaken."


Livni maintained that Gaza was far from a humanitarian crisis and that the responsibility for the dire situation of the residents lies solely with Hamas. The international community, she told the UN chief, "has to stop overlooking the fact that the Israeli communities in the south are under fire."


"Anyone who thinks things can just go about as normal when we are under fire is wrong. They keep firing at us and violating Israeli sovereignty. There is no way we will let anyone fire on Israel and not respond," said Livni.


The foreign minister reportedly demanded the UN exercise its influence over the international community, and denounce the shelling of innocent civilians.


פרסום ראשון: 11.20.08, 17:37
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