President Shimon Peres on Wednesday accused Palestinians of using aid donations to fund their rocket campaign against Israel.
As dozens of rockets landed on southern Israeli towns, causing injuries and damage on Wednesday morning, Peres said that Palestinian terrorists cannot expect to attack and then be embraced.
“They need to decide what they want,” Peres said. “We won’t have a situation in which they shoot and we remain passive.”
Peres’s statement came a day after the emir of Qatar Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani visited the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and pledged $400 million in aid to the coastal enclave. Israel and Egypt are enforcing a blockade on Gaza in an effort to reduce the military capabilities of Hamas, which Israel and several Western countries, including the United States, consider a terrorist organization.
“We would be happy if Gaza is built up and produces jobs. But it is unthinkable that the emir of Qatar can come and give millions of dollars and they shoot rockets,” Peres said.
Within hours of the emir’s visit on Tuesday, a barrage of rocket fire began, continuing on Wednesday. The IDF responded by targeting terrorist cells as they attempted to launch missiles.
Peres made the statements during a condolence visit to the family of Majdi Halabi, a soldier whose remains were recently found seven years after he went missing in 2005. The circumstances surrounding Halabi’s death are still being investigated.