Israeli politician Tzipi Livni .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Hatnua party head Tzipi Livni said on Sunday that the Palestinian Authority is willing to open an “immediate dialogue” with Israel, in an address to the heads of the American-Israel Public Action Committee (AIPAC) in Tel Aviv.
“Even before the introduction of Trump’s peace plan, an immediate dialogue with the Palestinian Authority can be opened, even if it is primarily economic,” said Livni, referring to US President Donald Trump’s long-expected peace proposal. “Instead of taking up the gauntlet, the government ignores it and instead pays Hamas, unfortunately.”
Livni emphasized the need to make a clear division between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. “The Middle East is divided into extremists and moderates,” said Livni. “The same is true of the distinction between Hamas and the PA.”
“I hope that the peace plan will take into account Israeli national interests: separation, ending the conflict without the right of return to the Palestinians, security for Israel, demilitarization, and preserving the settlement blocs and holy sites,” she said. “These are the interests that must be taken into account and not the political interests of any party.”
Earlier this month, Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay broke up the partnership with Livni’s Hatnua party
ahead the elections on April 9. Livni claimed that one of the reasons for the split was Gabbay turning the campaign around to praising him and not about separating from the Palestinians.
Separation from the Palestinians has been at the center of Livni’s political agenda. She made headlines in 2014 when meeting in London with PA President Mahmoud Abbas
during the suspension of negotiations in light of the Fatah-Hamas unity pact.
The meeting drew criticism from Knesset members, who called on Livni to quit as then justice minister.
Former Labor leader Isaac Herzog responded to Livni’s meeting by calling on her to quit the government and join the fight for a two-state solution.
“Separation is an Israeli interest,” said Livni on Sunday, adding that “An American president who supports separation based on the principle of two nation-states is not anti-Israel, but pro-Israel.”
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