Peres says Europe making peace hard by backing Hamas

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Tuesday scolded the European Union for expressing sympathy for Hamas and Gaza and thereby making it increasingly difficult for Israel and the Palestinians to reach a durable peace agreement.

Peres told the current president of the European Parliament that by expressing understanding for the situation in Gaza, it was by extension justifying acts of terrorist aggression against Israel.

Peres again reminded the Europeans that the Israeli blockade of Gaza cannot be labeled the cause of Hamas terrorism, since it was the terrorism that came first, leading to the blockade.

Europe's current position on the situation threatens to encourage more Hamas violence against Israel, which will eventually necessitate another strong Israeli military response.

During last month's Gaza war, Peres sharply clashed with European leaders who were critical of Israel for responding with such ferocity to the hundreds of Hamas rocket attacks on its citizens.

Calling out their hypocrisy, Peres insisted that not one European country would tolerate even a fraction of the rocket attacks Israel has suffered.

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