In dealing with Hamas, as in the Iranian context, hesitation will create a false impression of victory, further strengthening the extremists at the expense of the moderate elements.

 FM Livni meets with German Chancellor Merkel

 

Israel FM Tzipi Livni meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met today (18 March 2008) with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Their meeting focused on Israel’s strategic position in the Middle East and the Palestinian issue.

FM Livni presented to Chancellor Merkel the elements of Israeli policy in the West Bank and Gaza – to change the existing reality by distinguishing between the pragmatic Palestinian elements in the West Bank and the extremists in the Gaza Strip, and to conduct negotiations with the moderates while continuing to wage war against terrorism.

FM Livni said: "Negotiations alone will not provide an answer to the difficult reality in Gaza, which are therefore complemented by Israel’s war against terror emanating from Gaza. Israel’s goal vis-a-vis Gaza is not only to prevent the fire of rockets and mortars against Israel, but also to halt the growing strength and consolidation of a radical Islamic terrorist regime across the fence. In dealing with Hamas, as in the Iranian context, hesitation will create a false impression of victory, further strengthening the extremists at the expense of the moderate elements. The negative effect on the region will be immediate. Israeli policy must therefore pursue these two goals simultaneously and forcefully. One does not take the place of the other."