The future depends on peace not violence, President Shimon Peres said Tuesday in a message to Hamas leaders and other terrorist organizations.

The statement followed a meeting Peres held with schoolchildren in the South. "I remind Hamas leaders and other terrorist organizations that the future depends on peace, not on rocket firing that lead to escalation and blood shed," Peres said.

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The president was visiting to celebrate Purim, belatedly, with children who had missed out on celebrations this year due to the escalation of violence in the area. 

Peres was greeted by schoolchildren at the Hofim school in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai with costumes, balloons and Purim songs.

"I came here to tell you that I am very proud of you. You are brave children, there are not many children in Israel and the world that deal with missile threats and at the same time, maintain good spirits and optimism." Peres told first and second graders.

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