"We had a rough day in Sderot. Seven rockets fell and almost killed our children. It's an intolerable situation and there is one address for it – Hamas. There is a limit to how much Israel is willing to tolerate," President Shimon Peres told Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer on Monday.
In thier meeting in Jerusalem, the president told the chancellor, "Israel left Gaza completely. There is not one Israeli citizen in its territory. Today I ask myself why? Why is Hamas shooting? What is its goal?
"There is only one answer. Hamas is a religious-fanatic organization that does not want a Palestinian state for its people, but wants to impose the dangerous radical religious hegemony that is taking over the entire Middle East and gives a green light to kill innocent people in its name."
Peres continued to condemn Hamas' actions which he said harmed both the Palestinian and Israeli people. "Hamas has one goal," he said, "to destroy the State of Israel. This is a danger to the entire free world. There is a limit to how much Israel is willing to tolerate."
Talking with the chancellor, Peres also addressed the Iranian nuclear threat. "This is not just Israel's problem, but the whole world's. The nations of the world must present one united front against Iran that will impose harsh economic sanctions against them."
Gusenbauer said in response that "Iran must not have an atomic bomb; Austria will continue to work against Iran."
Peres ended the meeting by telling the chancellor and his entourage, "Please don't get the wrong idea. While Israel is making great efforts to reach peace with the Palestinians, it has a greater duty to protect the lives of its citizens and its children. The terror must stop."