Nearly 24 hours after Israeli negotiators left the stalled cease-fire negotiations in Cairo, a centrist member of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government is proposing a plan that aims to restore quiet to the south and improve Israel's diplomatic footing.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to adopt her initiative for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip which would eventually lead to a resumption of peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Channel 2 reported on Friday.
The multi-stage plan proposed by Livni includes a number of parameters, including a cessation of hostilities along the Gaza frontier; immediate and massive humanitarian assistance for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip; steps that would seek to address both Israeli security needs as well as Palestinian economic interests in Gaza; recognition of the Palestinian Authority as the sovereign ruler of Gaza while insisting that all Palestinian factions yield to its rule; establishing a PA-run mechanism that would ensure continued international assistance earmarked for civilian needs in Gaza; opening of Gaza crossings with the proper safeguards and inspection apparatus to ensure that no materials that could be used for producing armaments are permitted into the territory; and the resumption of diplomatic negotiations with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Livni told Channel 2 that her plan would garner "widespread" international support since Hamas is refusing to compromise unless its demand for a seaport in Gaza are met.
"It's clear to everyone that Hamas has no interest in compromising," Livni said. "Their demands are based on agreements that they themselves have rejected (a reference to the Oslo Accords), so this proposal addresses Israel's security interests. The world would accept this plan for a new Gaza order."
During an appearance on Channel 2's weekly news magazine on Friday, Livni said she was opposed to any negotiations with Hamas. The justice minister also rejected Hamas' demand to allow it to build a seaport in the Gaza Strip and to permit a terrestrial linkage with Judea and Samaria.
"We're not giving them a prize for their attacks," Livni said.
As for the Palestinian Authority, "I, like most members of the cabinet, believe that Abu Mazen (Abbas) is a partner."
"This operation proved that Hamas has no genuine desire to lift the siege, because it had a chance to achieve just that in 2006," said Livni, who was foreign minister in Ehud Olmert's coalition during Operation Cast Lead.
The Hatnua chair added that "all operational possibilities against Hamas remain on the table."
"If Hamas continues to shoot at Israel, all options are on the table," she said. "But I'm not about to unfurl maps on television."
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