Peres Faymann 311.
(photo credit: GPO)
should pressure Hamas to change its policy, rather than Israel,
President Shimon Peres told his counterpart from Vienna on Thursday at
"We left Gaza voluntarily and I do not
understand the flotillas. In order to change the situation in Gaza,
there is no need for flotillas or activists but a change in Hamas's
terrorism policy," Peres told Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.
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The president went on to
tell Faymann that the flotillas
to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip had changed in their nature:
"Terrorist organizations – Hizbullah, Hamas and the Iranians – have
taken over the flotillas and are not interested in peace, they are
looking for provocations and conflict."
the president thanked Austria for its support of newly imposed
sanctions on Iran.
In response, Faymann said that Austria would like to assist in advancing the peace process and that he believes that "strengthening Gaza and its economy would prevent the Palestinians living in Gaza from turning to support the extremist organizations and would lead to a significant increase in support for peace negotiations with Israel."
the peace process, Faymann called for a renewal of Israeli-Palestinian
The Jerusalem meeting came the day after Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyhau called on the world to intervene and prevent a boatful of
women from Lebanon from sailing to Gaza, saying there was no reason for
these boats and that Israel had lifted its restrictions on what was
allowed into Gaza.
Speaking during a joint
appearance with Faymann, Netanyahu noted the irony that Iran,
Hizbullah and Hamas – not exactly champions of women’s rights – were
sending a female flotilla to Gaza.
“Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas, which want to return the world to the middle
ages; which don’t let their women dress, work or express themselves
freely; whose women live in subjugation, and sometimes without basic
rights and subject to violence – precisely those regimes are the ones
organizing a boat of women as propaganda against Israel,” he said.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report