Friday, June 15, 2007

PM Olmert speaks with Mubarak, promises steps to boost Abbas

Livni: Gaza multinational force must be willing to fight Hamas

"Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Friday pledged to take steps to bolster Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the Prime Minister's Office said.

Olmert made the promise during a phone conversation with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, according to a PMO statement.

"Israel will do all it can to help moderates in the Palestinian Authority after the radical Hamas took Gaza by force," the statement said......

President-elect Shimon Peres told United States President George Bush in a phone conversation: "We have to view in the current situation not only difficulties but opportunities as well.".....

Livni: Gaza multinational force must be willing to fight Hamas

A proposed multinational force deployed along the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt must be willing to fight the Islamic militant group Hamas to stop weapons smuggling in the area, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Friday.

At a news conference during an official visit to Portugal, Livni said Israel was not interested in any proposal involving a monitoring force for the Philadelphi corridor where Hamas uses tunnels to bring in weapons. Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip on Thursday after days of heavy fighting with Fatah forces.

"Those who are talking in terms of international forces have to understand that the meaning is not monitoring forces but forces that are willing to fight, to confront Hamas on the ground," Livni said.

"The question is the effectiveness of these (multinational) forces. We don't need monitors to come in to tell us about the (smuggling), we need someone to stop it," she said......"

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