While addressing the foreign press on Sunday regarding the latest developments in the Gaza crisis, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that she has no regrets for supporting Israel's withdrawal of settlers from the territory in 2005.
Livni said that the withdrawal was a correct move, and that terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip exploited it to launch attacks against Israel.
The justice minister said that "maybe there is hope" in re-installing the Palestinian Authority as the rulers of the Gaza Strip.
The minister said that Hamas must lower its demands in cease-fire negotiations. She said any Palestinian demands for a seaport and an airport in Gaza must be addressed in talks for a long-term agreement.
"This conflict is not Israel versus the Palestinians," she said. "This is about the good guys versus the bad guys."
The justice minister said that any opening of the border crossings in Gaza must be contingent on a demilitarization of the region.
Livni, a centrist member of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government, proposed over the weekend a plan that aims to restore quiet to the south and improve Israel's diplomatic footing.
Livni is urging 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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