The minister stressed Israel’s opposition to transferring money to a Hamas-led government of the Palestinian Authority.

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met today (Thursday, 9 March 2006) with the Quartet’s emissary to the Middle East, James Wolfensohn.

The minister stressed Israel’s opposition to transferring money to a Hamas-led government of the Palestinian Authority. Nevertheless, she differentiated between funding for the authority and direct funding to meet the needs of the Palestinian population.

With regard to closures of the Gaza Strip border crossings, Minister Livni made it clear that Israel has no policy of collective punishment and that decisions are made only in accordance with security alerts. She added that it is regrettable that the Palestinians reject other solutions that could be provided by the Kerem Shalom crossing.