Where do we go from now?…asks Ambassador Yosef Livne

June 20, 2014 by Yosef Livne
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The movements of the Middle Eastern See-Saw seem to be gaining a negative momentum. All over our region extremist and fundamentalist elements march triumphantly and raise the levels of anguish among moderates in the region and countries close and far. 

Yosef Livne

Yosef Livne

The horrendous bloodletting in Iraq notwithstanding, we in Israel are faced with the challenges put forward by an extreme Islamist terror organization-Hamas. Similar in its religious fanaticism to other terrorist organizations in Kenya, Iraq and Nigeria, Hamas does not hide its additional mission-the destruction of Israel. Over the last years it has launched rockets against Israeli population centers and tried to abduct Israeli citizens. On June 12, three youngsters, two of whom are still minors, were kidnapped by Hamas. This action comes only shortly following the misguided decision of President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to form a joint government with Hamas. The decision of Abu Mazen placed an almost insurmountable obstacle in the way of any effort to restart peace talks. Hamas commitment to the destruction of Israel and its adherence to terror are well known and place it outside the realm of legitimate interlocutor.

Israel will undertake all necessary measures to defend its citizens and in this spirit one should view the continued efforts to rescue the teens and return them to their families. But there should be no misunderstanding. The operation which is under way to liberate the boys, will also deal a blow to the terror infrastructure Hamas has established in the West Bank.

The declarations of the President of the Palestinian Authority condemning the kidnapping are but a first step. They should be accompanied by concrete measures among which are the efforts to liberate the youngsters. Furthermore, He and his people should engage in some serious soul searching concerning their ill-advised coalition with Hamas.

So long as this agreement stands, the scorpion is still very much alive and ready to sting. We know what we have to do, will the Palestinian Authority do the same?

HE Yosef Livne is Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand

 

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