Livni: E. J'lem office won't undermine peace talks

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN,
April 14, 2013 22:28

Other government offices, like Construction and Housing, Science and Technology are located over the Green Line.

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Tzipi Livni at the President's residence, January 31, 2013.

Tzipi Livni at the President's residence 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The east Jerusalem location of the Justice Ministry will not prevent Justice Minister Tzipi Livni from holding key meetings and advancing the peace process, sources close to her said on Sunday.

Nabil Sha’ath, Fatah’s commissioner for international affairs, complained in an opinion piece he published in Canada’s Globe and Mail on Friday that Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird “slapped the Palestinian people in the face” by meeting with Livni in her office.

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Sha’ath wrote that the meeting “not only marks an unprecedented recognition of the illegal Israeli annexation of Palestinians’ occupied capital, it undermines efforts by United States Secretary of State John Kerry to restart negotiations.”

Livni’s associates said they were aware of Sha’ath’s complaint and the realities of the situation.

“We do not expect problems with the minister’s meetings,” Livni’s office said in a statement. “We are convinced that such issues will not pose an obstacle to our key goal of advancing the diplomatic process.”

Besides the Justice Ministry, the Jerusalem offices of the Construction and Housing Ministry and the Science, Technology and Space Ministry are located over the Green Line.

This is not expected to pose a problem for Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi), who lives over the Green Line in Kfar Adumim.

But Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri is very dovish and was one of the main interviewees in the Oscar-nominated movie The Gatekeepers , which criticized what it termed “the occupation of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.” Nevertheless, Peri has been working out of the office.

Both Peri and Livni also have offices in Tel Aviv.


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