FM Livni and Egyptian President Mubarak discussed the escalating situation in the Gaza Strip.
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Following a private meeting between Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and Egyptian President Mubarak that lasted an hour and a half, FM Livni said, "The Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas, an extreme Islamist terrorist organization that does not represent any legitimate goal of the Palestinians. Gaza is an obstacle on the road to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Egypt expressed its concerns regarding an additional deterioration, particularly in the humanitarian situation. Hamas needs to understand that Israel’s basic desire to live in a tranquil region doesn’t mean that Israel is willing to accept ongoing shooting at its population. Enough is enough. We cannot accept this situation and the situation will change. The situation in the Gaza Strip has one responsible address: Hamas, which needs to understand that its decisions carry a price. Hamas is mistaken if it thinks that internal domestic considerations or the desire for quiet will prevent Israel from responding. When there’s shooting, there’s a response. Any state would react that way.
The calm won by Egypt was violated by Hamas daily. Israel is the one responsible for protecting its civilians, who are under attack. And Hamas is mistaken if it thinks that Israel is weak or irresolute. Hamas continues to fire, Gilad Shalit is still in captivity, and Hamas needs to understand that terrorism will never be the tool to achieve something from Israel. If Hamas thinks that using terror will improve the conditions of the calm, it is mistaken. Hamas is misleading the Gaza population when it thinks that using terror will win something from Israel, and it would be better if it understands that it will have to pay the price for its use of force."