Livni 'ashamed' of state of Gaza truce

FM says military response necessary to increase deterrence; Barak opens Gaza border crossings.

supplies truck 224.88 (photo credit: )
supplies truck 224.88
(photo credit: )
Hours after Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the border crossings with the Gaza Strip opened to allow the passage of humanitarian aid, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni warned on Tuesday that the consequences of renewed Palestinian rocket into Israeli territory may be much tougher than yet another closure. "A [military] response is important; even if it doesn't automatically end the Palestinian rocket fire, there is something important in the impression, and Israel's deterrence ability," she said during a conference in Tel Aviv. "The strategic goal in my eyes is to prevent the establishment of an extremist Islamic terror state along Israel's southern border," Livni continued. "If Hamas knows that Israel won't be quiet when missiles fall on Ashkelon, they will feel the responsibility on their shoulders," she said, adding that she is "ashamed to call what is currently happening a ceasefire." "Israel cannot accept Hamas rule in Gaza, and therefore from the strategic point of view we need to focus on what is happening there," Livni said. "When we are faced with a decision to come to some kind of arrangement - like a ceasefire - which may seem in the short time a legitimate interest, we must remember that when Israel gets into these arrangements, they harm us and strengthen Hamas." "Therefore, even when we come to agreements on a ceasefire, we need to ensure that Israel won't settle for violations, and will respond to each violation - whether serious or slight," she said. "We are living in an area where image has meaning, and when the image is weakened, that harms Israel's deterrence capability." "Even if firing in response [to violations] doesn't end the rocket attacks - it will help with deterrence," Livni added. Earlier in the day, Barak ordered that the Gaza crossings be opened to allow into the territory over 70 trucks carrying humanitarian aid. The decision came after no rocket attacks were reported on Monday.