|Tzipi Livni, the most left leaning politician in the Israeli cabinet, publicly devalued Abbas. This lends credience to the argument that there is no one to talk with on the Palestinian side.|
Livni: Abbas Not Ideal Peace Partner - Robert Tait
Tzipi Livni, Israel's chief peace negotiator, has expressed doubts over the ability of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, to deliver an agreement.
Addressing foreign diplomats and journalists, Livni likened any agreement with Abbas to a signed check on an empty bank account because he does not control Gaza, which is run by the Islamist Hamas movement. She also acknowledged doubts over Abbas' legitimacy in the West Bank - which his Fatah movement controls - because he has not held elections for several years.
"A legitimate question is with whom we are going to sign an agreement," Livni said in Jerusalem. "The Gaza Strip is being controlled by Hamas. They are not part of the peace. They are not willing...to accept Israel's right to exist, to renounce terrorism and to accept all the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. And on the other side, we have Abu Mazen [Abbas], for many years without elections on the Palestinian side, without any possibility to change anything in Gaza, even if he wants to. So what's the use of signing an agreement?"