Hamas has no intention of compromising with Israel, Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly cabinet
meeting. Echoing comments made by President Shimon Peres earlier in the
day, Netanyahu said Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal's comments in Gaza over the weekend exposed "our enemies' true face" once again.
have no intention of compromising with us; they want to destroy the
state. They will fail, of course; in the annals of the history of our
people, we – the Jewish People – have overcome such enemies," he
Mashaal on Saturday reiterated his movement’s refusal to “give up one
inch of the land of Palestine.” Mashaal, who arrived in the Gaza Strip
for the first time ever on Friday, said: “Palestine from the river to
the sea, from the north to the south, is our land and we will never give
up one inch or any part of it." He added, “Jihad and armed resistance
are the right and real way to liberate Palestine and restore our
Speaking at the Globes business conference earlier
Sunday, Peres said the Islamist movement's true face is that of a terror
organization which advocates killing, does not compromise and wants to
keep Gaza's poor in a state of poverty.
Netanyahu noted that PA
President Mahmoud Abbas did not condemn Mashaal's remarks advocating the
destruction of Israel, "just as previously he did not condemn the
missiles that were fired at Israel." The prime minister expressed regret
that Abbas strives for unity "with the same Hamas that is supported by
Here Netanyahu's comments contrasted with the president's
who stressed that Abbas represented the only Palestinian alternative,
whom he described as a relatively moderate leader Israel must negotiate
with. Peres said Abbas opposes terror and has chosen the path of
Addressing the government's decision to
approve building in the E1 area, Peres said the move will only be
significant if Israel decides to annex the area. He added that the
latest move was just another decision, similar to previous government
decisions to build in the area.
Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark
Regev, also slammed Hamas Saturday night, saying, “What we heard from
the Hamas leadership in Gaza today should serve as a wake-up call to
anyone who has illusions about the extremist and murderous character of
“They unequivocally restated a maximalist and terrorist
position that sees as its goal the total destruction of the Jewish state
and fundamentally rejects any compromise,” Regev said.
ask the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, who talks about making a
political coalition with these extremists: What does this say about your
own stated commitment to peace and reconciliation?”
Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz said Mashaal deserved to die and should be
the subject of a targeted killing, as should all of Hamas’s leadership.
“Mashaal in Gaza is the result of our diplomatic failure in Operation Pillar of Defense,” Mofaz said.
and Liberman agreed to this. Hamas is raising its head and we must
remove it. If Israel continues weakening [Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas] and avoiding dealing with Hamas, we will see
Mashaal in Judea and Samaria in a few years.”
Tovah Lazaroff and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.