Livni: Deal with Abbas 'not realistic'

FM says peace can't be pursued as long as Hamas refuses to moderate.

livni sits 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
livni sits 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel wants to sit down with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Sunday, but she insisted it's "not realistic" to pursue a final peace deal with him as long as Hamas, which controls the PA cabinet and legislature, refuses to moderate. In an interview with the Associated Press, Livni sought to allay international concerns that Israel plans to impose a final border on the Palestinians.
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"The message is not unilateralism, it's not the Israeli government ideology. We prefer firstly to find a partner on the Palestinian side," she said. Livni said the prisoners document currently being debated among Palestinians as a way out of a crippling international aid boycott could lead to positive results. However, the document, which implicitly recognizes the Jewish state by calling for a Palestinian state alongside Israel, falls short of international demands for Hamas to moderate its stance, she said. "Maybe as a process it can lead to something better. But yet when it comes to the document itself, it doesn't send a message of historical reconciliation," she said. Livni, who travels to Strasbourg, France, on Monday to meet with European foreign ministers, urged the international community to "continue with this pressure on the [Hamas-led] government" while at the same time funneling humanitarian aid to ordinary Palestinians. While calling talks on a final peace deal "not realistic" with an unrepentant Hamas in power, Livni said Israel wants to deal with Abbas. "We will speak with Abbas because we believe that he's important and maybe there's a chance to promote a process with him," she said.