Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, said during a press conference
in Haifa that Israel should hold direct talks with the Palestinian
President, Mahmoud Abbas, adding that direct talks will enable Israel “
to know what is going on, what is possible and what's not possible”.

The statements of Livni came several days after a statement by the Israeli Prime Minister , Ehud Olmert, saying that he will be willing to meet Abbas “only after the Abducted Israeli soldier in Gaza, Gilad Shalit, is freed”. 

Israel still rejects any talks with the Hamas-led Palestinian government since it considers Hamas a terrorist organization.

Eight ministers of the new government and 29 legislators were abducted by Israel and taken prisoners since the abduction of Shalit.

Meanwhile, Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, whose country holds the EU presidency, said on Wednesday that Israel should unconditionally release all detained Palestinian legislators and ministers in order to revive the peace process in the Middle East.

Tuomioja also urged Israel to cancel its plans to construct additional 690 settlers homes in two settlements in the occupied West Bank describing the bid as illegal, increases tension in the area and threatens the existence of a two-state solution.

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