President Shimon Peres discussed the sanctions by Israel – including the recent decision to cut fuel supplies in response to rocket attacks emanating from Gaza -- with European Union Commissioner for International Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner on Monday. During a meeting between the two in Jerusalem, Peres warned that "Israel will not restrain its responses to mortar and rocket attacks on the children of Sderot." The western Negev community has been battered repeatedly for years by Kassam rocket attacks from northern Gaza, a bare kilometer away.
Ferrero-Waldner expressed her understanding of the issue, but added nonetheless that "collective punishment is never a solution." Peres responded that "Europe must understand that sanctions imposed on Gaza are a direct result of the murder and terrorism perpetrated by Hamas."