Sderot mayor denies saying he would speak to Hamas

Moyal disputes Guardian report, acknowledges he said he'd meet with Satan himself to stop rocket attacks.

eli moyal 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
eli moyal 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Even as Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal denied a report published in the British paper the Guardian which claimed he would talk with Hamas, he told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that he would meet with Satan to stop rocket attacks on Sderot. "The reporter asked if Israel should talk with Hamas and I said, 'no,'" Moyal told the Post. Then they talked about the toll the Palestinian launched rockets had taken on Sderot in the last six years, said Moyal. As part of that conversation, he said he described how bad the situation was, particularly for the children. Moyal said he was then asked by the Guardian what he would be willing to do to stop those rockets. "I said, 'I would be willing to go to the end of the world to meet with Satan himself," recalled Moyal. The paper on Saturday then printed a headline that said, "Israeli mayor of bombarded border town offers to break ranks and talk to Hamas." Moyal has since denied that charge. As long as Hamas calls for Israel's destruction, "We should not talk with them," said Moyal, who in the past has called on the government to send the IDF to destroy those sections of Gaza from which rockets have been launched. He has also supported Israel's policy of targeted assassinations. Moyal said he concurred with the Israeli government's position that one should not negotiate with terrorists, including Hamas. More to the point, he said, he did not have authority to hold any negotiations with Hamas. But as mayor of the city where people have died from rocket attacks, "this has affected me," he said. Earlier this month a rocket wounded two brothers in the town, one of whom lost a leg as a result. "So I said what I said. If my meeting with someone on Earth would save a kid's leg, I will go to meet with him," said Moyal, who added that he included Hamas in that category. But he cautioned that one could not translate this into a call on his part for a meeting with Hamas. Guardian reporter Toni O'Loughlin told The Post that she stands by the story.