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Danon blasts Livni over reported meeting with Palestinian official in London
By JPOST.COM STAFF
06/13/2014
Deputy defense minister slams Israeli's chief negotiator after report surfaces that Livni disregarded government order to refrain from negotiating with new Palestinian unity gov't.
 
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon blasted Israeli's chief negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on Friday for reportedly meeting with a Palestinian official in London on Thursday.

Danon made the remarks in response to report by the Israeli news site Walla! that Livni had met with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riay al-Maliki despite Israel's decision not to negotiation with the new Palestinian unity government backed by Hamas.

"Livni forgot that she is in the coalition and continues to engage in private foreign diplomacy and disconnects from reality," Danon charged.

"It's sad to see that she still has the illusion that there is a Palestinian partner, apparently the magic of Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas], who torpedoed peace negotiations and chose Hamas," Danon said.

According to the Walla! report, Livni's meeting with al-Maliki on the sidelines of  the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London was the latest in a string of correspondence she has upheld with Palestinian officials over the past few weeks.

Livni and Maliki reportedly discussed the breakdown of peace talks and the possibility of restarting the failed process. The two also allegedly spoke about a recent Israeli announcement of plans to advance housing tenders for 1,500 new housing units in settlement over the Green Line.

In May, Livni received criticism for meeting with Abbas in London, in the first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials since peace talks failed.

Officials in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office said Livni had not represented the State of Israel during the meeting.

Israel’s policy, as expressed in a government vote, is not to negotiate with a Palestinian government that is united with Hamas, a terrorist organization intent on destroying the Jewish state, Netanyahu told Livni in a message he sent to her before the Abbas meeting.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.
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