Netanyahu echoes Peres in saying Khaled Mashaal’s speech in Gaza demonstrates again the Islamist movement’s true colors as a terror group that advocates killing.
Israeli leaders slam Abbas for failing to condemn terror group’s calls to destroy Israel.
Hamas has no intention of compromising with Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. Echoing comments made by President Shimon Peres earlier in the day, Netanyahu said Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal’s comments in Gaza over the weekend exposed “our enemies’ true face” once again.
“They have no intention of compromising with us; they want to destroy the state. They will fail, of course; in the annals of the history of our people, we – the Jewish People – have overcome such enemies,” he continued.
Mashaal on Saturday reiterated his movement’s refusal to “give up one inch of the land of Palestine.” Mashaal, who arrived in the Gaza Strip for the first time ever on Friday, said: “Palestine from the river to the sea, from the north to the south, is our land and we will never give up one inch or any part of it.” He added, “Jihad and armed resistance are the right and real way to liberate Palestine and restore our rights.”
Speaking at the Globes business conference earlier Sunday, Peres said the Islamist movement’s true face is that of a terror organization which advocates killing, does not compromise and wants to keep Gaza’s poor in a state of poverty.
Netanyahu noted that PA President Mahmoud Abbas did not condemn Mashaal’s remarks advocating the destruction of Israel, “just as previously he did not condemn the missiles that were fired at Israel.” The prime minister expressed regret that Abbas strives for unity “with the same Hamas that is supported by Iran.”
Here Netanyahu’s comments contrasted with the president’s who stressed that Abbas represented the only Palestinian alternative, whom he described as a relatively moderate leader Israel must negotiate with. Peres said Abbas opposes terror and has chosen the path of negotiations.
Peres also addressing the government’s decision to approve building in the E1 area, Peres said the decision will only be significant if Israel decides to annex the area. He added that the latest move was just another decision, similar to previous government decisions to build in the area.
Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev, also slammed Hamas Saturday night, saying, “What we heard from the Hamas leadership in Gaza today should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who has illusions about the extremist and murderous character of Hamas.”
“They unequivocally restated a maximalist and terrorist position that sees as its goal the total destruction of the Jewish state and fundamentally rejects any compromise,” Regev said.
“I would ask the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, who talks about making a political coalition with these extremists: What does this say about your own stated commitment to peace and reconciliation?”
Meanwhile, Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz said Mashaal deserved to die and should be the subject of a targeted killing, as should all of Hamas’s leadership.
“Mashaal in Gaza is the result of our diplomatic failure in Operation Pillar of Defense,” Mofaz said.
“Netanyahu and Liberman agreed to this. Hamas is raising its head and we must remove it. If Israel continues weakening [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] and avoiding dealing with Hamas, we will see Mashaal in Judea and Samaria in a few years.”
Tovah Lazaroff and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=295198