President Shimon Peres says Gaza will be free only once it rids itself of Hamas, which has been ruling the Strip since a bloody coup in 2007, two years after Israel withdrew from the territory.
“We left Gaza of our own free will,” he says. “Gaza could have been prosperous and successful but instead it turned to terror. Gaza will be truly free when it breaks free of the shackles of the terrorist organizations.”
Speaking at his official residence in Jerusalem, the president says that, in contrast to Hamas, the Israeli army does not wish to hurt innocent civilians.
“Hamas terrorists aims to kill and injure as many innocent Israelis as possible. We do not wish to harm civilians. A reality in which 5 million of our people, including women and children, are running to bomb shelters is intolerable.”
The Israeli army is fighting terror “with determination and dedication,” Peres adds. “We cannot allow terrorism to drive our citizens into bomb shelters. There can be no compromise with terror.”
— Raphael Ahren