Tzipi Livni: PA in­ter­ested in im­me­di­ate ne­go­ti­a­tions

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • Jerusalem Post Staff

Hat­nua party head Tzipi Livni said on Sun­day that the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity is will­ing to open an “im­me­di­ate di­a­logue” with Is­rael, in an ad­dress to the heads of the Amer­i­can-Is­rael Pub­lic Ac­tion Com­mit­tee (AIPAC) in Tel Aviv.

“Even be­fore the in­tro­duc­tion of Trump’s peace plan, an im­me­di­ate di­a­logue with the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity can be opened, even if it is pri­mar­ily eco­nomic,” said Livni, re­fer­ring to US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s long-ex­pected peace pro­posal. “In­stead of tak­ing up the gaunt­let, the gov­ern­ment ig­nores it and in­stead pays Ha­mas, un­for­tu­nately.”

Livni em­pha­sized the need to make a clear divi­sion be­tween Ha­mas and the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity. “The Mid­dle East is di­vided into ex­trem­ists and mod­er­ates,” said Livni. “The same is true of the dis­tinc­tion be­tween Ha­mas and the PA.”

“I hope that the peace plan will take into ac­count Is­raeli na­tional in­ter­ests: sepa­ra­tion, end­ing the con­flict with­out the right of re­turn to the Pales­tini­ans, se­cu­rity for Is­rael, de­mil­i­ta­riza­tion, and pre­serv­ing the set­tle­ment blocs and holy sites,” she said. “These are the in­ter­ests that must be taken into ac­count and not the po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests of any party.”

Ear­lier this month, La­bor Party leader Avi Gab­bay broke up the part­ner­ship with Livni’s Hat­nua party ahead the elec­tions on April 9. Livni claimed that one of the rea­sons for the split was Gab­bay turn­ing the cam­paign around to prais­ing him and not about sep­a­rat­ing from the Pales­tini­ans.

Sepa­ra­tion from the Pales­tini­ans has been at the cen­ter of Livni’s po­lit­i­cal agenda. She made head­lines in 2014 when meet­ing in Lon­don with PA Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Abbas dur­ing the sus­pen­sion of ne­go­ti­a­tions in light of the Fatah-Ha­mas unity pact.

The meet­ing drew crit­i­cism from Knes­set mem­bers, who called on Livni to quit as then jus­tice min­is­ter.

For­mer La­bor leader Isaac Herzog re­sponded to Livni’s meet­ing by call­ing on her to quit the gov­ern­ment and join the fight for a two-state so­lu­tion.

“Sepa­ra­tion is an Is­raeli in­ter­est,” said Livni on Sun­day, adding that “An Amer­i­can pres­i­dent who sup­ports sepa­ra­tion based on the prin­ci­ple of two na­tion­states is not anti-Is­rael, but pro-Is­rael.”

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