The government needs a coherent strategy to weaken Hamas and bolster more moderate factions in the Palestinian Authority, opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on Wednesday.
“When I criticize the government and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, it’s not for having a ceasefire, it’s for not having a strategy,” Livni said. “We just have a ceasefire once in a while, without changing reality on the ground.”
Livni said a ceasefire is positive, but questioned what the next step will be.
“Will there be a new pack of dollars coming from Qatar [into Gaza] next month? Is that the way we’re going to act? Is that the way we treat our citizens living under rockets and mortars? That is not a solution in the long run,” she argued.
Livni advised the government to strengthen the PA and work with the international community to weaken Hamas, which she said acts in “the interest of peace.”
The PA cooperates with Israel regularly, and Livni suggested that Israel practices a carrot-and-stick strategy, by giving the PA the carrots and Hamas the sticks.
“In recent years, the government is working against Hamas and the PA in a useless blame game while, in a way, strengthening Hamas,” she said. “This is not acceptable...It [is] weakening those working with Israel against terror.”
Livni expressed hope that there will be elections soon and that her party can “convince the Israeli public that this is what needs to be done, and we have the right answer for Israeli security.”
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