Israel cannot just sit by and watch as its citizens are attacked and we expect the international community to support Israel when it defends its citizens.

(Commnicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Speaking at the start of her meeting with British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband (16 November 2008), Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni said:

"These are difficult days. While we are speaking here Israeli citizens are under attack by Hamas. Israel cannot just sit by and watch as its citizens are attacked and we expect the international community to support Israel when it defends its citizens.

The Israeli government has a responsibility to protect its citizens, and it is the world’s responsibility not to turn a blind eye and use all of the means and influence at its disposal to stop terrorist actions.

Hamas is taking advantage of the situation in Gaza to try to garner international support. The international community must make it clear that this is unacceptable. Just as Hamas is to blame for the attacks on Israel, so is Hamas is also responsible for the situation in Gaza and of the people living there. When Israel is attacked – Israel must respond."