Livni calls for diplomacy with 'moderates' to help counter Islamic State

Justice minister says diplomatic process, not threats, will tackle regional terror threats, as Hamas awaits Egyptian invitation to resume talks.

September 11, 2014 01:58
2 minute read.
Tzipi Livni

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni spoke at a convening of her faction on Wednesday evening, warning that threats against Islamic State were not enough to tackle the ever-expanding militant group.

Echoing comments she made earlier this week at the annual conference at Herzliya's International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Livni said the war against terrorism was the key to peace.

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"We are the first to fight terrorism," she said, referring to Israel's 50 day long offensive in Gaza. "We do not want Hamas" in the coastal territory, but rather, to enter into dialogue "with moderates."

Those who do not wish to resolve the decades-old conflict diplomatically, will be the ones who ultimately lead us to a bloody conflict with the decapitators, she cautioned.

Those who envision a "Greater Israel," she said, and who do not want to cede a single settlement, are the same ones who "now say we have no partner" for peace. Rather than weaken Hamas militarily and work diplomatically to replace the organization as the ruling authority in Gaza, "they are willing to end the operation in Gaza with a certain degree of deterrence," that will only last temporarily.

Whoever warns against the beheadings of Islamic State must also put forward a solution, she stated, calling for a renewal of the  diplomatic process with the PA to tackle regional terrorism and "create a strong axis with Arab nations" who face the same threat. 

Without a diplomatic process, Livni warned, "we cannot achieve this."

She said Israel should accept a resolution that prevents Hamas from becoming stronger and money flowing into the wrong hands – a plan that will push the PA, which condemns violence, into Gaza. 

The Hatnua leader said she planned on introducing legislation against Islamic State that would allow Israel to prosecute any Israeli linked to the organization.

The bill would prohibit any citizen or resident in the Jewish State to affiliate with an armed terrorist group. "The new situation unfolding in the Middle East" requires Israel to upgrade its laws, she said.

Meanwhile, kilometers away in Gaza, Hamas said indirect cease-fire talks with Israel would resume next week in Cairo.

Hamas political bureau official Moussa Abu Marzouk told journalists in Gaza City that the Egyptian-mediated negotiations were due to resume in "mid-September."

Senior Hamas member Ahmed Yousif told the Ma'an news agency that talks would resume on September 25th.

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