Livni slams Hamas in Italy

Amid concern in Jerusalem of erosion in European solidarity to ostracize Hamas, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told her Italian counterpart in Rome Wednesday that Hamas was not just "another" terrorist group. Livni told Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini that Hamas was not only a terrorist group, but also, according to her office, "an extremist Islamist organization that educates Palestinian children to hate and to murder Jews and Christians." Livni spent the day in Italy on the eve of a meeting of the EU's leaders. In addition to meting Fini, Livni also met Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his rival in next month's elections Romano Prodi, and the Vatican's Foreign Minister, Giovanni Lajolo. Livni said that she and Berlusconi were in "total agreement" about the need to "uphold and preserve" the three conditions set by the international community for legitimizing Hamas: recognizing Israel, abandoning terrorism, and upholding previous agreements between Israel and the PA. Italy was instrumental in 2003, while it held the EU's rotating presidency, in adding Hamas to Europe's list of terrorist organizations.