Tzipi Livni 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy The Tzipi Livni Party)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Friday that she is positive that
relaunching peace talks with the Palestinians is the best course of
action for Israel.
US Secretary of State John Kerry announced
earlier Friday that Israel and the Palestinians have laid the groundwork
for renewed direct peace talks, some three years after the previous
attempt at negotiations fell apart.
"I am convinced with all my
heart that it is the right thing to do for our future, our security,
our economy and the values of Israel," Livni wrote on Facebook. "I know
that as soon as the negotiations start, they will be complex and not
easy," she also wrote.
Livni and senior Palestinian negotiator
Saeb Erekat will travel to Washington DC next week to commence talks,
Kerry said in his announcement from Amman, Jordan.
Minister Yair Lapid also claimed to support renewed direct peace talks,
when he told Channel 2 on Friday: "There is a solid majority in this
cabinet for going to negotiations."
Meanwhile, an anonymous
Israeli official told Reuters on Friday that the new Israeli-Palestinian
peace talks, if resumed, would take months.
"We are talking
about months, both to ensure the process is substantive and
comprehensive, and to get us past September," the official said.
official was referring to the annual UN general assembly in September,
where the Palestinians had, in the absence of direct diplomacy,
considered lobbying for recognition of their claim of statehood.
Yesh Atid MK Ronen Hoffman also hailed the renewal of peace
negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian
"I would like to praise the resumption of talks without preconditions," he said.
someone who has led diplomatic negotiating teams in the past, I would
recommend that we not lower expectations as is custom, since this isn't
right for Israel."
"Both sides need to determine specific goals and strive to reach them," he said.
on board, Meretz MK Issawi Freij welcomed Kerry's initiative, but warned not to have illusions
in terms of the realities of the peace process.
Freij urged Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to finally put an end to "childish blame
games [between Israelis and Palestinians]," and to "look beyond himself
and his settler friends in order to close this story."
Youssef, a senior member of the umbrella Palestine Liberation
Organization, also reacted to the US secretary of state's initiative,
saying, "the announcement today did not mean the return to
negotiations. It meant efforts would continue to secure the achievement
of Palestinian demands ... Israel must recognize the 1967 borders."
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's own authority is also being
questioned; while his US-backed administration holds sway in the West
Bank, its rival governing body in Gaza, Hamas, denounced Abbas's credit
in his representation of the Palestinian people, when it comes to peace
"Abbas does not have the legitimacy to negotiate on
fateful issues on behalf of the Palestinian people," Hamas spokesman
Sami Abu Zuhri said.