Livni: Abbas Stood Firm and Prevented an Intifada

Justice Minister says that avoiding negotiations with 'moderate' Palestinians is a mistake.

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Gil Ronen,

Tzipi Livni
Tzipi Livni

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) said Saturday night that Israel must initiate negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) under Mahmoud Abbas.

Livni explained to an interviewer on Channel 2's Meet the Press that the IDF's Gaza operation proved that “military force cannot create long term change.”

"It has been proven that there is also a moderate group in the region here, which wants to create a change in the face of all of the lunatics who cut off heads and use children for terror,” she explained. “We must take advantage of this opportunity.”

Livni, who is considered the most leftist of the government's ministers, warned that Israel is about to face a “diplomatic and legal intifada” in international bodies following Operation Protective Edge, and said that negotiations would soften the blow of this impending attack.

"Either we negotiate and the world will be with us, or we will be isolated and we will continue to say that we won't talk with Hamas, even as we make a deal with Hamas,” she said. Like many leftists, Livni pointed to the fact that Israel has been conducting indirect negotiations with Hamas in Cairo as an argument in favor of negotiating with the PA's unity government, which includes Hamas. Nationalists point out that the Cairo talks were not about a peace deal but only about a ceasefire.

"Whoever does not begin negotiations is making a mistake and perpetuating Hamas's control of Gaza,” she added. Mahmoud Abbas “stood firm as a wall and prevented an intifada in Judea and Samaria” during Operation Protective Edge, she claimed, “and the government knows this.”