Livni: Gov't negotiating with Hamas weakens Israel

August 23, 2011 12:19

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Tuesday criticized the government's handling of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on southern Israel, saying that  the current policy being employed is "weakening Israel."

In an interview with Army Radio, Livni stated that "when we negotiate with Hamas, with extremists instead of strengthening relations with moderates, we are damaging our ability to act militarily."

Livni added: "We must strengthen our status among moderates - Egypt, Jordan and the moderate Palestinian leadership - and simultaneously we must aggressively respond to attacks against us in order to give Israel its deterrence capability back. Negotiating with Hamas and quietly absorbing rocket attacks is problematic in the long term from a security standpoint."

The opposition leader said that removing Hamas from power in Gaza is "a worthy goal, not only because they are firing rockets at us but also because they will try to prevent a peace agreement as long as they remain in power." She added that this was a long-term goal, whereas the short-term goal should be regaining the power to deter attacks against Israel.

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