Peres, UN chief meet in Jerusalem

President Shimon Peres and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon hold a meeting at the President’s Residence on the ongoing campaign in the Gaza Strip.

Following the meeting, in a statement to the press, the president strongly criticizes Qatar for transferring to Hamas money that ultimately sponsored terror activity and made Gaza “a center of terror.”

“Qatar does not have the right to send money for rockets and tunnels which are fired at innocent civilians. Their funding of terror must stop. If they want to build then they should, but they must not be allowed to destroy,” he says.

“Gaza could have become a center of trade but Hamas turned it into a center of terror. The people of Gaza could have been given hope but instead Hamas brought them destruction. Hamas built an infrastructure of terror beneath schools and kindergartens. They use hospitals to launch attacks. They hide in houses and use their children as human shields,” Peres says after the meeting.

“Mr. Secretary-General, they even use your UNRWA schools to store their rockets. The behavior of Hamas is a criminal act against their own people and ours. The death of innocent civilians pains me personally and it pains our people,” he says.

Ban responds by extending an urgent appeal for a truce.

“The violence must stop now and we must immediately start dialogue which addressed all the root causes which have already been identified, discussed and negotiated for a long time. We don’t have time to lose,” he says.

He condemns rocket fire from Gaza on Israeli civilians, as well as the Palestinian civilian casualties.

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