Livni submits diplomatic plan to end Gaza conflict

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) said late Friday she had presented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a diplomatic proposal to end the fighting in Gaza while restarting peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Her plan would include a ceasefire; the immediate transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza; “steps” that would answer Israel’s security demands while also addressing Gazans’ economic needs; the recognition of the rule of the Palestinian Authority over Gaza with one set of armed forces; the establishment of a Palestinian Authority system that would ensure that funds and aid would reach civilians and not terror leaders; the opening of the crossings with Gaza and the simultaneous establishment of a system that would bar the transfer of raw materials, such as concrete, for the purposes of terror; and the renewal of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Tzipi Livni speaks at a meeting of her Hatnua party in the Knesset, on Monday, May 19, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)
Tzipi Livni speaks at a meeting of her Hatnua party in the Knesset, on Monday, May 19, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)

Livni told Channel 2 she will submit the proposal to the security cabinet for approval.

“The steps we are seeking don’t require Hamas’s approval. If Hamas had wanted to have the blockade lifted since 2006, it would have stopped the violence, recognized the existing agreements [signed between Israel and the Palestinians] and recognized Israel as a Jewish state. It would have then become [a] legitimate [power].”

“Hamas does not really want to have the blockade lifted. It wants legitimacy as a terror organization that rules Gaza. And Israel will not agree to that,” she said.

Livni said Israel must continue operating militarily as long as Hamas fires on Israeli cities and doesn’t rule out sending ground forces back into the Gaza Strip.

“A peace agreement would not be with Hamas, but against it. Which is why what I propose presents a new [world] order, with Egypt, with Israel, with the Palestinian Authority and with other regional countries,” she said.

“We want to reach an agreement not with those who fire on us, but with those who don’t use violence and terror,” she added.

The former chief negotiator with the Palestinian Authority said she is against negotiating with Hamas and does not think Israel should meet their grandiose demands for a seaport, an airport and a crossing between Gaza and the West Bank. These are things that a part of a permanent agreement, she says, and they should not be rewarded with them because they used force.

“Most cabinet members understand that if Hamas is the problem — and it is — then [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas and those who do not use terror against us, are part the solution,” she said.

“Instead of preoccupying ourselves in this bazaar of what to give Hamas so the quiet returns, let’s look for another opportunity, let’s think outside the box,” she said.

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