FM Livni addresses Cabinet meeting
FM Livni reiterates her stand on the war against Hamas and the importance of
halting the arms smuggling.
"The intensive diplomatic activity of the last few days aims to alleviate
the pressure for a ceasefire and to allow time for continuing the military
operation in order to achieve its goals. The progress of the ground
operation led to an attempt by the Arab states to promote a diplomatic
initiative in the Security Council to stop the operation. That attempt was
foiled by us.
"Our ability as decision-makers to provide diplomatic maneuverability is
directly connected to the internal processes occurring in the Arab states.
The pictures constantly coming out of Gaza are difficult for us to counter.
Therefore, we are currently concentrating on intensifying our humanitarian
activities; for this purpose, we are today opening a special headquarters of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Coordinator of Government Activities
in the Territories. Representatives of the humanitarian organizations
operating in the Gaza Strip as well as the international media will be
brought to the new headquarters.
"In all of my discussions with world leaders, I reiterate my opposition to
any narrative that equates us with Hamas. Hamas spreads terror, whereas we
act out of self-defense. We also strictly maintain the international
isolation in which we placed Hamas since it took over the Gaza Strip. This
is a war against a terrorist organization, not a war between states that
mandates an agreement between them.
"In Lebanon, the operation was halted by a diplomatic agreement; today, we
are in a different place.
"The goals of this operation are military. We went in to strike at terrorism
and to impair Hamas's capability and motivation. My position on the need to
bring about, in the long run, the collapse of the Hamas regime is well
known. Any arrangement must promote Israel's interests vis-a-vis Hamas. A
diplomatic arrangement with Hamas contradicts the strategic goal and the
diplomatic efforts that are concentrated on weakening Hamas. Every
international effort that weakens Hamas is positive in our eyes.
"This is a counter-terrorist operation and the diplomatic activity in this
context is focused on enabling the operation to continue and finding ways to
prevent the future arming of Hamas. The smuggling must be halted. This is
the critical part of the diplomacy in my opinion. Furthermore, this is a war
on terrorists and on their motivation to shoot at citizens of the State of