Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni visited with Israel Defense Forces commanders in the West Bank on Monday, telling them that Israel would continue to act against terrorism during the negotiating period with the Palestinians.
"Israel has no intention of throwing they key over to the other side and hoping for the best," she said. "For this reason, we must simultaneously work to alter the situation in the field and persist in the struggle against terrorism, as well as the formation of effective institutions and security groups on the Palestinian side in order to create an effective Palestinian governing body to make agreements with."
"Only in this way can we implement the agreements that we make during the negotiations," she added.
"As foreign minister, I have said in the past that when Israel is required to fight for security it must do so, even at the price of international criticism," Livni added.
"The defense establishment realizes that it must ease restrictions on Palestinian civilian economic activity without jeopardizing Israeli security, when the opportunity presents itself," she said. "It must do so because it serves Israel's interests."
The foreign minister toured the area, and was briefed by top IDF officers on the security situation in the West Bank, the deployment of Palestinian Authority forces, as well as security and civilian coordination between the IDF and PA.
The officers also updated the foreign minister on the recent IDF operation in the West Bank city of Nablus, and its achievements in counter-terrorism.
In addition, Livni was briefed on the security forces' handling of illegal settlement outposts, with the head of the Civil Administration telling her that security forces are acting "day and night in order to prevent the expansion of the outposts."
The foreign minister said security forces should not look away on the outposts. "This is an issue of law enforcement, and it must be taken care of," she said.
Olmert: There is 'real war' in the Gaza Strip
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a Kadima faction meeting Monday that "a real war is taking place in the Gaza Strip in recent months."
Olmert added that terrorist organizations are suffering severe losses on a daily basis.
The prime minister also mentioned the recent barrage of Qassam rockets, saying, "There is no doubt that the firing of Qassam rockets has to stop, and the struggle will be pursued forcefully in the West Bank as well as in Gaza."
Olmert added that the government would not allow considerations in the negotiations with the Palestinians to deter it from taking action in the West Bank and Gaza.
Three Palestinian militants were killed Monday by Israel Defense Forces fire in two separate incidents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including a female suicide bomber.
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