There is no violent route to statehood, British Prime Minister David Cameron told President Shimon Peres at his official residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday night.
Cameron, who condemned the rocket attack from Gaza which earlier in the evening had once again sent residents of communities close to the Gaza Strip scurrying for shelter, said that the only route to statehood was through negotiation.
In addition to reaffirming Britain’s strong ties to Israel, the reason that he had come at this time, he said, was to demonstrate Britain’s strong support for the peace process.
Now is the time for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take courageous steps and risks toward achieving a two-state solution, he said.
In welcoming Cameron, Peres spent minimal time on the usual niceties, and almost immediately spoke of the rocket barrage, which he said was one of the heaviest that Israel had experienced.
“We cannot behave as though nothing happened, and I’m sure the government will take the necessary steps to stop it,” said Peres, adding that Hamas has to decide on peace or violence.
“We have to decide how to put an end to it. We want peace, but we must put a stop to terror,” he stated. “The sooner it will be settled, the better.”
The difference between war and terror, Peres said, is that terror has no policy or responsibility.
“We have to stop this menace.”
Cameron noted that this most recent spate of rocket fire was an important reminder of the security threats confronting Israel. Declaring his complete condemnation of the attacks, Cameron added that they were completely indiscriminate, “which demonstrates how barbaric they are.”
Peres and Cameron also discussed the progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
“All of us, Arabs and Jews, we have a real option either to make a peaceful Middle East or to break the region.
There are times when you don’t have a choice, but now we do, and we made our choice. Our choice is peace based on compromise, a twostate solution. We must implement it; we cannot postpone. Time is running out; decisions will be taken in the next few weeks. We have to act with energy and understand that a mistake will cost a terrible price. I know it’s difficult, but you have to make difficult decisions,” said Peres.
Following their meeting, Peres and Cameron inspected a small exhibition on cooperative brain research that is being conducted by researchers in Israeli and British medical centers and universities.
The research is funded by the British Israel Research Academic Exchange Partnership.
Presentations were made by researchers from the Hadassah- University Medical Center, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Tel Aviv University, who are all engaged in different aspects of brain research involving regenerative stem cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease nanotechnology to diagnose diseases in their earliest stages, and brain connections and connectivity.