Kadima leader and former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Shaul Mofaz on Monday echoed comments made earlier in the day by President Shimon Peres advocating talks with Hamas, should the Islamist organization abide by the demands of the Quartet of international Mideast peace brokers.

"If Hamas changes its ways then we cannot rule out negations," Mofaz told students in Herzliya. "As long as Hamas remains a terror organization with murderous ideology against children and citizens of Israel, we don't need to talk to them."

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But he added that there is a possibility that the two sides will be able to talk at some point in the future.

Peres told Christian leaders in Jerusalem earlier Monday that, "there is nothing wrong with talking to Hamas if you get an answer," but added that the group must decide if it wants"peace or war."

Israel recently launched a week-long operation in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, aiming to stop near-incessant rocket fire against its southern communities.

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