Shimon Peres Insists Hamas, Fatah Separate

Peres ignores Hamas-Fatah unity pact in Peace Conference remarks, claims that Palestinian Authority wants peace.

Ornit Atzar and Tova Dvorin,

Peres at  Peace Conference
Peres at Peace Conference
Mark Naiman

President Shimon Peres insisted that Hamas and Fatah are two separate entities Tuesday morning, headlining the "Israeli Peace Conference" by contrasting the two despite both their unity pact and the recent escalation from Gaza. 

Peres began his speech by addressing the current security situation, including Operation Protective Edge

"IDF soldiers are operating, even in the dead of night, to stop the incessant rocket fire on Israel's southern communities," Peres stated. "Hamas fired over a hundred missiles at women and children from Gaza overnight."

"All requests from international forces to Hamas to recognize Israel and make peace were rejected, and instead of peace, shooting at residents of the south has not stopped," he continued. "We cannot come to terms with death, there is no compromise with mortar shells, and there is no compromise when we are face constant danger falling on the heads of children and their mothers."

Peres then denied that Hamas and Fatah are both behind the terror, despite Fatah's own threats recently against Israel and lack of public condemnation of the rocket fire. 

"Israel wants peace with the Palestinians, but, unfortunately, the Palestinians are divided into two camps: the camp of peace and the camp of terrorism," Peres insisted. "The camp of terrorism attempts to kill the notion of peace, the camp of terrorism officiates the unnecessary deaths of innocent people." 

"The camp of terrorism, which opposes peace, shoots rockets constantly at the citizens of Israel," he added. "This we cannot accept." 

Peres stressed that Israel has a moral right to protect the people of the South, who stand firmly against missile attacks and stand strong on Israel's home front.

"I am proud of the Negev for standing firm [against terrorism]," he said. "If we win this battle against Hamas, the residents of the south will be victorious due to their inner strength, their faith despite their suffering, and their hope."

This is not the first time this week that Shimon Peres has touted the "peace talks" line despite an ongoing barrage of attacks on civilians. 

On Sunday, Peres stated at a press conference that the goal is not to deter Hamas, but to protect the residents of the south - and to separate Hamas from Fatah to continue the peace process.

"An important goal is to separate the Palestinian Authority (PA) from Hamas," Peres insisted. "Hamas is a terrorist organization that wants to kill, devastate, and hurt innocent people, while some Palestinians are moderates pushing for peace." 

"We must differentiate between the two and fight with all our might against terrorism," he added.