Livni: A Significant Gap Separates Moderate PA Leaders Will, Ability

Olmert tells AG Mazuz that Knesset must approve any joint declaration before Annapolis peace summit.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Linvi said Monday that there is a significant gap between the will of moderate Palestinian leaders and their ability to implement policy.

Speaking at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center's NATO-Israel conference, Livni said that even should an agreement be reached on core final status issues, Israel cannot simply "say goodbye, throw the key to the other side and hope for the best."

"We must ensure that there will be a government on the Palestinian side that can control the situation on the ground and prevent attacks on Israel," she said, adding that any agreement will be implemented on the basis of the U.S.-backed road map for Middle East peace.

"Israel's security must be a Palestinian interest," she said.

Livni added that terror organizations must be prevented from taking power through democratic means. "We have seen how this happens in the [Palestinian] Authority and Lebanon, as terror organizations gained legitimacy through the back door," she said.

Livni is pushing for the creation of a negotiations administration to handle ongoing work on the core issues with Palestinian counterparts after the summit.

Olmert: Knesset must okay joint declaration before peace meetPrime Minister Ehud Olmert has informed Attorney General Menachem Mazuz that he intends to present any joint declaration formulated with the Palestinians to the Knesset for approval, Haaretz learned on Monday.

The prime minister told the attorney general in a letter that "Every document which expresses Israeli commitment to a significant political-military matter... will be brought before the Knesset... in accordance with the accepted practice of the State of Israel and as the government of Israel has been doing for generations with regard to significant political documents."

Olmert said it was too early to predict the results of negotiations with the Palestinians or even what such a joint document would look like. The sides are expected to draw up the joint document before the Mideast peace conference scheduled for November in Maryland.

Israel has been pushing for pre-summit talks with the Palestinians to yield a broad agreement of principles, which does not tackle the core issues at the heart of the Israeli-Paletinian conflict. The Palestinians, however, have insisted that the document address those issues - Jerusalem, refugees and permanent borders.

Reflecting this fundamental disparity in the sides' intentions, Olmert wrote that it was not clear the joint declaration would go far enough to require a vote in parliament.