Peres. 'Talk without an agreement'
Photo: Yaron Brener
Yishai. 'Most ethical'
Photo: Sasson Tiram
Where do we go from here? This is the question State officials are now facing, after it has become clear that following another operation – and another tragedy – the Qassam fire won't stop, while innocent civilians are paying the price on both sides.
Meanwhile, Israel is also paying a heavy diplomatic price. The ambassador in Paris, for instance, was already summoned for a clarification meeting.
Vice Premier Shimon Peres believes that now, of all times, Israel must try and reach an agreement – and not by itself. We cannot talk with Hamas, he tells Ynet, therefore we must operate indirectly – through the Quartet and Egypt.
"We have to see how to turn Gaza from a battlefield into a field of negotiations," Minister Peres said Thursday during a speech delivered at an exports convention in Tel Aviv.
"We have to see how to create a dialogue between the parties also without an agreement," he added.
"We have to create a situation in which people can live in Gaza," Peres said. "We have to make sure that they have water and employment. The Egyptians expressed their willingness to help with this, and we have to get them deeper into negotiations.
"We cannot just settle for fire. We have to broadly integrate Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) and the world, in order to reach a situation in which people can live on both sides of the border," Peres concluded.
Yishai: Use firm hand against HamasIndustry, Trade and Labor Minister Eliyahu Yishai said Wednesday that he does not reject "a humanitarian dialogue" with Abbas, but that "we are committed to continue working in order to defend the citizens of the State of Israel."
"The IDF is the world's most ethical army," Yishai told Ynet. "We are exerting tremendous efforts for this not to happen."
"It is Hamas, however, which does not let go and fires in order to hurt innocents. They don’t care that Israel has already implemented the disengagement and is not in the Gaza Strip anymore.
"I certainly hope the world will also condemn the Qassam fire. I am in favor of aiding the innocent population, but on the other hand, we must use a very firm hand against Hamas," the minister added.