Khaled Mashaal has revealed Hamas’ real face, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday, while Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas hides behind him by not condemning remarks to destroy Israel.
Mashaal, Hamas’ surpreme leader, visited Gaza, kissed the ground and triumphantly stated that Arabs will never cede “one inch” of “Palestine," referring to all of Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Cabinet meeting Sunday morning, “Yesterday we were re-exposed to our enemies' true face. 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 noted that Abbas, who has fostered an image of a “peace partner” while recently declaring unity with Hamas, “has issued no condemnation, not of the remarks about the destruction of Israel, just as previously he did not condemn the missiles that were fired at Israel.”
“To my regret, he strives for unity with the same Hamas that is supported by Iran," the Prime Minister added.
“We in the government have no illusions. We want a true peace with our neighbors. But we will not close our eyes and stick our heads in the sand. We are not prepared to repeat the same mistake of a unilateral withdrawal and withdrawals that, in effect, led Hamas to take control of Gaza.
“I have always been astonished at the delusions of others who are prepared to continue this process and call it peace. You would hand over more territory, in this case in Judea and Samaria that controls Israel's cities, to the same people and the result, of course, will be a Gaza on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, Hadera and Kfar Saba.”
He vowed to withstand international pressure, which almost universally condemned Israel for responding to the UN’s upgrading the PA’s status in the United Nations by announcing new building projects for Jewish homes in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, a former leftist, added, "The fact that Mashaal spoke of victory in Gaza doesn’t change the fact that Hamas was dealt a serious blow.
“The government did what needed to be done and deterrence has been restored. And if in the future it falters again, then we'll have to strike with greater force.”
President Shimon Peres shared Netanyahu’s views of Hamas but still claimed that Abbas is a “peace partner.”
"Khaled Mashaal exposed Hamas for what it is – a terror group that advocates bloodshed, that fosters poverty, hunger and misery among the Palestinians,” the President said at the annual Globes Business Conference.
"On the other side of Hamas there is Abu Mazen [Abbas], who is a peace partner. He opposes terror and recognizes Israel's right to exist.
"This is not just a time of elections it is also a time of choices. We have to choose between Gaza and the West Bank, between Abbas and Mashaal. It's a choice and it has to be made.”
President Peres made no reference to Abbas' silence on missile attacks, Mashaal’s statement and Abbas’ recent change in strategy of reuniting with Hamas.