President Shimon Peres
Photo: AP

Peres: Hamas needs to be taught a lesson

President gives ABC's The Week exclusive interview, says international pressure for unilateral ceasefire makes no sense

WASHINGTONPresident Shimon Peres was interviewed Sunday by ABC's The Week and said that Hamas "needs a real and serious lesson. They are now getting it."


Peres rejected international calls for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel: "The idea that Hamas will continue to fire and we will declare a ceasefire... It does not make any sense.


"They did things that are unreasonable," he continued. "They are shooting endlessly without reason or purpose."


The terror group, he added, "is beginning to feel the weight of its mistakes… (but) we don’t intend to occupy Gaza or crush Hamas but crush terror. Hamas needs a real and serious lesson. They are now getting it."


Peres argued that Hamas began an assault on Israelis on orders from Iran. "When they stop shooting we will leave," he said.


"We have by law and by reason to defend our people and nobody else has suggested to do it otherwise."


'Remember who the enemy is'

Meanwhile, Vice President Richard Cheney said on CBS' Face The Nation that Israel did not seek approval from the US before embarking in the ground incursion of Gaza.


“I think it’s important to remember who the enemy is here," he said. "The enemy is not the Palestinians, from the perspective of the Israelis – it’s Hamas... You’ve got a UN member state being attacked by a terrorist organization and to go after that terrorist organization, I think they probably decided that an air campaign wasn’t enough, that they had to go in on the ground if they were going to take down the sites from which the rockets had been launched against Israel.”


Cheney called his comments “informed speculation.”


“If there’s to be a ceasefire, you can’t simply go back to the status quo of a few weeks ago, where you had a ceasefire recognized by one side but not adhered to by the other," ,” he said. "It’s got to be a sustainable, durable proposition, and Hamas has to stop rocketing Israel. And I don’t think you can have a viable ceasefire until their prepared to do that.”


פרסום ראשון: 01.04.09, 19:33
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