“It is important that Europe understands that the Palestinian government is controlled by a terror organization, which has officially claimed responsibility for the firing of Kassam rockets.”

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

During the course of her visit to Prague, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni said that "Hamas is an ideologically extremist movement which does not represent the interests of the Palestinian people. Israel can provide answers to the Palestinian national aspirations so long as its security is maintained. The Hamas ideology is not nationalist but theocratic – it aspires to establish an Islamic-religious entity and eliminate all those who do not accept the rule of Islam. This we cannot accept. We must therefore continue military action against Hamas, while halting arms smuggling along the Philadelphi corridor, continuing to seek the release of Gilad Shalit – and at the same time continue to pursue the political dialogue with Abu Mazen."

FM Livni stressed: "It is important that Europe understands that the Palestinian government is controlled by a terror organization, which has officially claimed responsibility for terror attacks and the firing of Kassam rockets. Any European attempt to differentiate between the responsibility of the Palestinian government and the Hamas terror organization interferes with the fight against terror. It is Israel’s duty to prevent anyone engaged in or planning terror attacks against Israel from doing so, one way or another."

With regard go the political dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians, FM Livni said that Israel has not closed the door to the Palestinians. "However, it must be understood that what is happening today in the Gaza Strip is moving the Palestinians further away from achieving their national aspirations."