The Hamas-Fatah agreement announced on Wednesday is “a fatal mistake” that will allow terrorists to rule Judea and Samaria and ruin the chances for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as a country, President Shimon Peres said Thursday afternoon.
He said that the agreement, if implemented, means there will be a “continuation of rocket attacks, a continuation of the murder of innocent civilians, and the continuation of Iranian interference that supports and finances terror in our region.”
Peres is widely regarded as Israel’s champion of dialogue for peace.
His unusually harsh condemnation of the agreement between Hamas and Fatah leader PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whom he has called “a productive leader who wants peace,” unifies the Israeli reaction so far, and even echoes the comments by plain-talking Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
“Signing this agreement that will result in elections in another year is liable to allow a terrorist group [Hamas] to control [not only] Gaza [but also] Judea and Samaria,” said the president, "and the Hamas policy will win." The Foreign Minister issued virtually the same verdict earlier Thursday, placing both leaders, from parties on opposite sides of the spectrum, in rare agreement.
“Hamas is not changing its spots,” President Peres continued, "It is not ceasing to be a terrorist group that serves Iran and smuggles weapons.”
He said the Fatah-Hamas accord is between two camps, “one calling for peace and the other calling for the destruction of Israel… This is a fatal mistake."
Sources commenting on the president's remarks took issue with the PA's sincerity when "calling for peace", due to its preconditions, incitement and refusal to negotiate, but agreed that it does mouth the peace words, as opposed to Hamas.