We are maintaining the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Israel is the only place in the world that supplies electricity to terrorist organizations that launch rockets at it in return.

 FM Livni meets with Dutch FM Verhagen

 

FM Livni and Dutch FM Verhagen view Kassam rockets during tour of Sderot (Photo: Flash90)

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

On Monday, 21 January 2008, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met with Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen. After their meeting, FM Livni said:

"We decided to operate vis-à-vis the Palestinians in parallel – peace talks alongside an ongoing war on terrorism. The negotiations and their outcome will of necessity be subject to the situation on the ground and to changes in the reality in the field. It was clear that the negotiations would take place in the shadow of the war on terrorism and that the fierce desire to achieve peace would go hand in hand with the fierce fight against terror to ensure the security of our citizens.

In the course of the negotiations, we will be making a clear distinction between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, between the moderates and the extremists. Israel will not stop its counterterrorist operations because of the negotiations. This is a combined process that, at the end of the road, is intended to provide security, establish a Palestinian state – if it lives up to our demands – and to create an entirely different reality.

Our policy is not to punish the civilian population for its leaders’ policies. Activity vis-à-vis the moderates will take place while responding to the ongoing daily threat coming from the Gaza Strip. We withdrew from Gaza, dismantled communities; the Palestinians had the opportunity of giving new hope to their people in Gaza, but their only response was terror.

The Palestinians must understand that they cannot profit politically from terror. Hamas does not represent the Palestinian national vision; it is an extremist group that does not recognize Israel’s right, or any non-Muslim’s right, to exist. There is no hope in terrorism; there is no hope in such a leadership; hope will come to the Palestinians from a different, more moderate policy.

We are maintaining the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Israel is the only place in the world that supplies electricity to terrorist organizations that launch rockets at it in return. Life for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is not easy because there is terrorism there, and this should be crystal clear: Hamas can change the lives of the people in Gaza in an instant, if it ceases terrorism. It knows that, and the Palestinian civilians must understand it as well."