At the Likud faction meeting Monday, MK Danny Danon told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he had to do something to restrain Justice Minister Tzipi Livni – whom, Danon said, was “out of control."
"She is running her own private foreign policy in her meetings with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, and this is damaging our efforts to fight against Hamas,” Danon said.
Reports last week said that Netanyahu was on the verge of firing Livni for meeting with Abbas in an unapproved get-together.
Livni reportedly met with Abbas during a trip to London, expressing Israel's dissatisfaction with the unity pact he reached with Hamas.
The meeting was the first between Abbas and a senior Israeli official since Israel pulled out of the peace talks in response to the Hamas-Fatah unity pact.
According to reports, Livni had informed Netanyahu that she was to meet with Abbas. Netanyahu criticized the move, but sources close to the Prime Minister said that Netanyahu had not even been aware of the meeting. When he found out what she was planning, he specifically told her not to meet with Abbas – a directive she subsequently ignored.
Netanyahu was prepared to fire Livni, the sources said, but changed his mind at the last moment, after sources close to Finance Minister Yair Lapid indicated that her firing would trigger a “coalition crisis.”
Livni defended her decision to meet Abbas, emphasizing that she would do it again if she felt it was necessary. This, said Danon, was going too far. “Livni is damaging our interests, and you must put a stop to it.” Netanyahu had said over the weekend that he would “weigh options” if Livni held more meetings with Abbas.
Meanwhile, Livni slammed Netanyahu for using the term “unilateral” in an interview last week. Netanyahu spoke with Jeffrey Goldberg of Bloomberg View about the failed peace talks with the PA, saying that he wants "a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state."
Given the failure of the negotiations, he hinted that he is considering unilateral moves. "It’s true that the idea of taking unilateral steps is gaining ground, from the center-left to the center-right. Many Israelis are asking themselves if there are certain unilateral steps that could theoretically make sense," said Netanyahu.
Livni said that it was premature to speak of such moves before knowing what they would entail, and what moves would be undertaken. “It's like someone saying that he is in favor of the weather,” she said. “Without a clear direction of what that means, there's no point to saying it.”