Sa'ar Blasts Members of Livni's Party

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar says Hatnua should back the Israeli government, not blame it for torpedoing peace talks.

Hezki Baruch and Elad Benari,

Interior Minister Gideon Saar
Interior Minister Gideon Saar
Flash 90

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud Beytenu) blasted on Monday the members of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party.

Sa’ar’s comments came after Hatnua MKs blamed members of the Israeli government for torpedoing the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

“Instead of attacking the Palestinians for their unilateral steps, they choose to place demands on the Israeli government and the prime minister,” said Sa’ar, who spoke at a conference in the community of Oranit in the Shomron (Samaria).

"At this hour, all members of the coalition must back the government's position,” he added.

There has been tension between Hatnua and other members of the coalition in recent days, as the peace talks have reached an impasse when the PA applied to 15 international organizations and Israel responded by cancelling the fourth terrorist release.

On Saturday, Livni accused Housing Minister Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home of deliberately issuing 700 building tenders in Jerusalem in order to 'torpedo' the peace talks.

“He tried to torpedo what I'm doing together with the prime minister; the result was mainly that the whole world claims we are guilty even when we acted appropriately - that's the cost of Jewish Home's presence in the government," said Livni in a televised interview.

On Monday morning, MK Amram Mitzna of Livni’s party told Army Radio that “more than half of the government ministers are torpedoing the negotiations.”

"We no longer have anything to do [in the coalition]. If the talks do not resume by the end of April, Hatnua should leave the government immediately,” said Mitzna.

Environment Minister Amir Peretz joined in on the criticism and attacked Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who said Sunday that he preferred to leave the coalition and force new elections instead of having Israel agree to release more terrorists.

"Don’t frighten us with elections," he said. "The Israeli public is well aware that in spite of the extreme rightists we led the government to an important process which strengthened the position of the State of Israel and that we intend to continue fighting.”