FM Livni addressed the Cabinet on Hamas and the international community.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni made the following remarks at today’s cabinet meeting (Sunday, 19 February 2006):

"Hamas has now begun the process of taking over the Palestinian Authority, this after [PA Chairman] Abu Mazen refrained in his speech yesterday (18 February) from calling on that organization to meet certain conditions.

* The reference point of the international community regarding sanctions against the authority should be the measure of the influence of such sanctions upon the Palestinian population.

* Increasing the pressure on this population will not increase the pressure on Hamas, but rather on Israel.

* It will be easier for the international community to present a united front against the Palestinian Authority as long as the humanitarian condition of its citizens remains satisfactory. Israel does not have to remain the Palestinians’ economic support for an extended period of time.

* Israel will take a number of additional, politically significant steps regarding the Palestinian Authority."