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Livni: Israel will protect its citizens

Jan. 9, 2009 at 8:37 AM
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JERUSALEM, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Friday Israel would defend its citizens, despite a U.N. Security Council call to end to the fighting in Gaza.

Livni, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak met to decide the future scope of Operation Cast Lead, its military effort to halt rocket- and mortar-fire from Gaza into Israel, Ynetnews.com reported.

The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, with 14 voting members voting for the resolution and the United States abstaining. The Security Council also called for withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, transfer of supplies to Gaza, humanitarian aid and reconciliation among Palestinians, Ynetnews said.

"Israel has acted, is acting, and will continue to act only according to its calculations, in the interest of the security of its citizens and its right to self defense," Livni said.

Israeli Vice Premier Minister Eli Yishai was critical as well, saying, "The world has turned into ... Hamas' lobbyist. It's no matter for concern if this resolution stays on paper, our interest is all that matters."

In Lebanon, Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan said the militant group was not bound by the resolution.

"This resolution does not take the Palestinian interest into consideration, and does not address lifting the siege or opening the (border) crossings," Hamdan said, adding that Hamas, which controls Gaza, wasn't consulted.

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