We won't let Gazans starve, Peres tells Ban

Blames Hamas for the turmoil in Gaza, says that were it not for Hamas, the people of Gaza could live quite peacefully.

Peres 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Peres 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israel will not allow the people of Gaza to starve, President Shimon Peres told United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Thursday when they met in Davos within the framework of the World Economic Forum. The meeting, which lasted for more than 45 minutes, was also attended by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who updated the secretary-general on progress in negotiations with the Palestinians, emphasizing that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed." There was no point in trying to talk to Hamas because it was committed to the eradication of Israel, she said. Peres blamed Hamas for the turmoil in Gaza and said that were it not for Hamas, the people of Gaza could live quite peacefully. He also familiarized Ban Ki-Moon with preventive measures that Israeli is taking against Hamas violence, and reviewed the history of the Gaza Strip from the period prior to 1967, when international peace-keeping forces prevented outbreaks of terrorism against Israel. Though he expressed concern about the humanitarian needs of the Gazans, and was fearful that the situation might deteriorate, Ban Ki-Moon concurred that Israel had every right to defend itself from terror. Later in the day, Peres was the keynote speaker at a conference devoted to post-Annapolis, post-Paris developments. The next 10 months are crucial and both sides must work intensively and make maximum efforts to overcome their weaknesses, he said. If they were successful everyone would win, he said. If they failed, everyone would lose. When the Palestinians are strong, Israel will be, Peres continued, adding that he fully believed that both sides shared the desire to reach a just and lasting peace accord that would be mutually beneficial.