Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres Flash 90

A week after he stepped down from office, former President Shimon Peres evoked outrage on Wednesday when he said that it was time to end the operation in Gaza.

Peres, who visited wounded soldiers at the Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva, said that "the war has run its course and now we need to find a way to stop it."

“Gaza from a legitimate sense belongs to [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas - he has the legitimate authority - Gaza was taken from him, and the most appropriate thing is to return Gaza to Abbas,” he added.

Abbas, claimed the former President, “has proven that he knows how to manage things in Judea and Samaria, he is in favor of peace and in favor of rescuing Gaza. Today he has the support of Egypt and the Arab world more than anyone else.”

MK Miri Regev (Likud) brushed aside the comments, telling Channel 1 News, “In light of the sayings of former President Peres that the Gaza campaign has run its course, I say that Peres has run his course. With all due respect to Peres, Israel must strive to a military victory against Hamas.”

She added, "Only a ceasefire after a military victory will at last give quiet to the communities in the south and stop the rocket fire into Israel. These humanitarian ceasefires only give Hamas time to regroup, attack IDF soldiers and continue to fire rockets at Israel."

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) also attacked Peres’s comments and told Army Radio that they are “very serious”.

“The man did not understand this back when he signed the Oslo Accords and coined the term 'New Middle East' - and he does not understand this today. Peres's comments are unacceptable and could harm the morale of the fighters,” added Ariel.