Livni with European foreign ministers
Photo: AP

Livni: Deal with Hamas would abolish peace process

Foreign minister holds press conference ahead of European diplomats' arrival in Jerusalem as part of efforts to reach ceasefire in Gaza. Any pact with terrorists means hindering chance for future peace agreement, she says

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni held a press conference in Jerusalem on Monday ahead of the arrival in Jerusalem of European diplomats attempting to reach a ceasefire pact between Israel and Hamas.


Before the operation in Gaza Hamas fired at Israel whenever it felt like it, she said, adding that this would not longer be the equation in the region. "When Israel is attacked, it will respond," she noted.


Livni stressed that "a necessary war on terror does not end with an agreement. We don't sign agreements with terror; we fight terror."


If we sign an agreement with terror we will not longer be able to advance a peace deal, she said.


The European delegation, headed by Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. 

Foreign Ministry summit (Photo: AP)


During the press conference, the foreign minister said that the situation was very complicated.


"All of us in the moderate international community, I believe, are part of the same coalition against terror. We will insist on achieving our goals: Halting the rocket fire and terror from Gaza, stopping the smuggling into the Gaza Strip, and international supervision."


'Equation must change'

According to Livni, "Hamas does not meet the conditions of the international community, including Europe. This is the same Hamas that has been attacking Israel for eight years. This is the Hamas which is attacking after Gaza was left by Israel. Our goal is to provide our citizens with a peaceful life."


She added that "the equation according to which Hamas attacks Israel whenever it wants and Israel exercise restraint must be changed. It ended on the day we launched the operation. The moment Israel is attacked – it will respond."


The foreign minister stressed that Israel has nothing against the Palestinians. Moreover, she said, in Annapolis we were part of a process aimed at creating two states for two people.


According to Livni, "The region is divided between moderates and extremists. Each person in the region must pick a side to work with. Hamas works with Iran, its headquarters are in Damascus and it coordinates its actions with Hizbullah."


The foreign minister concluded the press conference by saying that "Hamas must not be given legitimization through an exit agreement from the situation in Gaza.


"There is a war on terror. We are fighting it. We have no plans to reach an agreement with terror. As for the international monitors – I don’t see how they can help."


The Czech foreign minister, whose country serves as the current EU president, said that a ceasefire must be implemented as soon as possible and must include an end to the rocket fire directed at Israel.


He added that a ceasefire must be declared before all military targets are achieved.


פרסום ראשון: 01.05.09, 15:43
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