Israel FM: Palestinians Who Kill Israeli Troops Aren’t Terrorists

Israel’s foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, has broken a taboo by declaring that Palestinians who kill Israeli soldiers are not terrorists.
Her comments provoked fierce criticism in Israel and a Right-wing member of parliament demanded that she should be sacked.

The row began when Israeli radio broadcast an interview in which 48-year-old Mrs Livni said that attacks on Israeli soldiers were “more legitimate” than attacks on Israeli civilians.

“Somebody who is fighting against Israeli soldiers is an enemy and we will fight back,” she said. “But I believe that this is not under the definition of terrorism if the target is a soldier.”

Mrs Livni first made her comments during an interview recorded several weeks ago by the American ABC television network, where they went largely unnoticed.

But when they were broadcast in Israel this week they provoked an immediate angry reaction.

Mrs Livni, whose father, Eitan, was the director of operations for the Irgun, one of the hard-line Jewish nationalist groups that fought against British rule in Palestine in the 1940s, sought to strike a tougher tone in an interview given just before the Jewish holiday of Passover which began yesterday.