Likud Deputy Ministers Ze’ev Elkin and Danny Danon said on Thursday that they were still worried that Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will seek an interim agreement with the Palestinian Authority despite her statements to the contrary in an interview published in Thursday’s Jerusalem Post.
Livni said she was seeking a final-status agreement that would end the Israeli-Arab conflict in her negotiations and that she had not changed her tactic from her previous talks with the Palestinians that ended in 2008: There is no deal on anything until there is a deal on everything.
She denied repeated accusations by Elkin and Danon that she was working on achieving an interim agreement that would create a Palestinian state in temporary borders. She said she had never even used the term “interim agreement.”
“I don’t doubt that she wants to achieve a permanent agreement based on 1967 lines like she tried to do in the Annapolis process,” Elkin said. “My concern is that when there inevitably will be difficulties in the attempts to reach a final-status deal, an interim deal will be pursued. That would be a big mistake.”
Citing the Oslo process and the Gaza Strip withdrawal, the deputy foreign minister said history had proven attempts to reach a permanent agreement via interim stages very dangerous.
“I cannot relax, because I don’t know what will happen and what kind of American pressure there will be when the nine-month deadline to reach a deal approaches,” Elkin said.
Danon also expressed his lack of confidence in Israel’s chief negotiator.
“We saw the results of the negotiations during the time of [prime minister Ehud] Olmert and [then-foreign minister] Livni,” Danon said. “We will not let her lead the government to such a dangerous path.”
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