FM Livni: "The situation in the Gaza Strip must be taken into account in any political process – especially in light of the effects of this process on future security arrangements. This is not a territorial issue – we have withdrawn from Gaza, and the rocket attacks continue and intensify."

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni concluded her meeting with the US envoy, General Jim Jones, earlier today (Thursday 7 February 2008). During the meeting, FM Livni and General Jones discussed the current security situation and the manner in which the security issue should be handled within the framework of future agreements.

In the meeting, FM Livni raised the issue of the continued firing of Kassam rockets, and told the US emissary that "The firing of Kassam rockets has not abated, and we are currently facing a significant increase. The necessary action to be taken regarding security issues is not only in relation to what will be written in a future agreement, and we must relate to our response to the situation on the ground right now. The situation in the Gaza Strip must be taken into account in any political process – especially in light of the effects of this process on future security arrangements. This is not a territorial issue – we have withdrawn from Gaza, and the rocket attacks continue and intensify. A real response must be given to the threats from the Gaza Strip prior to the establishment of a Palestinian state – as long as the Palestinians see Gaza as part of the state they intend to establish. A solution to Israel’s security requirements is not an obstacle to peace – it is basic condition of any peace agreement".