Kadima leader Tzipi Livni on Tuesday linked the reopening of the Gaza crossings to bringing about the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, who has been in Hamas captivity since 2006. "I sent Gilad Schalit [to the front], not personally - but he is an IDF soldier," the foreign minister said during a speech at the Administrative College in Rishon Lezion. "We sent him to defend the country and we have an obligation to bring him back. Livni added: "If Hamas thinks it wants to get something beyond humanitarian assistance, which we will give regardless, we have someone who is very important to us, and, for me; one thing is contingent upon the other." Answering a question from a soldier who said he had been released from the army the day before on whether there would be a reaction to every rocket, Livni emphasized, "when they fire at us, we have to fire back every time. I'm not ready to go back to absorbing rockets, no matter who fired the rockets. I don't care who fired the rockets. Hamas is in control of Gaza and they can stop them." Livni said she envied the United States ahead of the swearing-in of Barack Obama and expressed hope that the elections in Israel would also empower the people and bring change. "I'm jealous of what is happening in the USâ€¦ I wish Obama well; the leader of the free world. Israel is part of the free world and his success is our success," Livni said. "I hope that on February 11 there will be the same spirit of change here. I want people here to also feel the day after the election that they have power and hope."