Former President Shimon Peres is advocating for the return of control over Gaza to Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority unity government in which his Ramallah-based entity formed a partnership with the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza.
“Gaza was taken from President Mahmoud Abbas [in a coup],” Peres told journalists at a briefing on Wednesday after visiting injured IDF soldiers at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.
“He is the only one with international recognition and who is a legitimate leader. The right thing to do is to return Gaza to Abbas and save it.”
The former president added that he believed it is time for Israel to begin to seek a diplomatic resolution to the situation in Gaza, saying the military option has been “exhausted.”
He refused, however, to discuss the current relations between Israel and the Obama White House. Israel’s Security Cabinet met in Tel Aviv Wednesday afternoon and voted to approve a four-hour humanitarian cease fire, to take place from 3 pm to 7 pm. The cabinet also approved measures to ‘widen and deepen’ operations in Gaza, specifically in and around the area of Khan Younis and other residential areas where terrorist tunnels have originated and must be eliminated.
Earlier in the week, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer told a gathering of U.S. officials and Jewish leaders in Washington on Monday, “Israel appreciates that President [Barack] Obama, Secretary Kerry, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who is here today, have strongly supported Israel’s right to defend itself.
“We also appreciate their efforts to help achieve a sustainable cease fire… I speak directly for my prime minister here,” he added. “The criticism of Secretary Kerry for his good faith efforts to advance a sustainable cease fire is unwarranted.”
U.S. Secretary John Kerry has repeatedly attempted to pressure Israel into a cease fire agreement that as yet does not address the security concerns of the Jewish State.