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Friday, 2 January 2009

Israeli foreign minister says Gaza assault will protect freedom

After the meeting she told reporters that the attacks against her country were not only a problem for Israelis but that Israel was in the front line in the defence of freedom.

And she said any truce would depend on Hamas suspending its rocket attacks.

Europe correspondent Emma Alberici.

EMMA ALBERICI: Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was in Paris to address a French proposal for a 48-hour cease fire to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. Her office said she had reiterated her Government's rejection of the plan. The Foreign Ministry quoted her as saying in a statement that the 1.5-million people in the Gaza Strip were not suffering a humanitarian crisis.

After her meeting with the French President and the Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni said a decision to end the fighting in Gaza would depend on a daily assessment of the situation.

TZIPI LIVNI: We targeted all the, not all but we affected most of the infrastructure of terror within Gaza Strip and the question whether it's enough or not will be according to our assessment on a daily basis.

EMMA ALBERICI: There's been little comment from Hamas during this latest conflict. Government spokesman Taher al-Nunu spoke overnight and said it was not up to Hamas to start a conversation with Israel.

TAHER AL-NUNU: We just defend ourselves. We don't want this war. We want to live in peace here in our land but some of the Israelis want to win in the new elections, in the next elections by our blood, by the killing of our people. It's not our responsibility. It's the responsibility of the Israeli side who decide to this war.

EMMA ALBERICI: France has been vocal in the diplomatic push for peace in Gaza and chaired an emergency meeting of European Union foreign ministers earlier in the week to discuss the conflict.

Tzipi Livni said the French understood Israel's dilemma More