Normalization will be implemented only where there is effective rule by a Palestinian government that accepts the Quartet conditions.

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met today (6 August) with the co-chairmen of the Socialist International Middle East Committee, Norwegian Foreign Minister Johas Gahr Store and Secretary General of the Italian Democrats of the Left, Piero Fassino.

Against the background of the dialogue conducted by Norway with Hamas, Foreign Minister Livni said:

"Palestinian unity means standstill and deterioration. Israelis and Palestinians need decision. Our position vis-a-vis Hamas is not punishment for the past, but a response to the fact that Hamas is preventing any chance or hope for the future.

The Arab world must support the Palestinian government and the steps Israel is taking towards normalization by stages. The role of the donor countries and of Tony Blair is to bridge the gaps between the ideal and the reality of the Palestinians’ ability to combat terror and set up governing institutions. Normalization will be implemented only where there is effective rule by a government that accepts the Quartet conditions. It is only with such a government that Israel and the world should interact.”