Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) condemned the settlements in undermining Israel and contributing to "the delegitimization of Israel in the eyes of the world" in an interview with Army Radio Friday morning.
"They want to prevent us from living here in a reasonable manner, and are opposed to the values of the State of Israel. Politically, they are the ones who will prevent us from reaching an agreement [in peace negotiations]," said Livni.
Her sentiments echoed those of US special envoy Martin Indyk's from his Thursday night speech
"Rampant settlement activity– especially in the midst of negotiations— doesn’t just undermine Palestinian trust in the purpose of the negotiations, it can undermine Israel’s Jewish future," he said. "If this continues," he added, "it could mortally wound the idea of Israel as a Jewish state. And that would be a tragedy of historic proportions."
Livni cited increased building within the Green Line as the reason for increased violence on the part of the settlements.
Referring to the rising number of "price tag" attacks in Israel, Livni said, "We are talking about an extremist ideological group based in certain settlements in Judea and Samaria that doesn't adhere to any authority," she said.
Following an emergency hearing on the attacks held Wednesday at the Ministry of Justice, Livni and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said they would petition the cabinet to classify "price tag" activities as terrorism. A previous attempt to do so last year was thrown out by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
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