FM: Hamas-Fatah cooperation gives hope on Schalit

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Monday that now that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was cooperating with Hamas, Israel has a better reason to believe Abbas's promises of kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit's release. In an interview with Army Radio from Washington, D.C., Livni said that "Abbas said that before the establishment of the [Palestinian unity] government, he would free Schalit. This is an Israeli demand. I think this also needs to be an international demand." Regarding Abbas's next meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Livni said that it "could be after the unity government's establishment." "It seems that the Mecca agreements do not keep to the conditions the Quartet presented, and therefore the question is whether there will be a distinction between Abbas and the government, and this is part of the test," she said. "We are examining the government as one body, and we are examining it according to its fundamental values. It doesn't matter who the ministers are."