Mofaz: No immunity from targeting killing for Hamas leaders until they disarm and recognize Israel’s right to exist
Israeli opposition leaders Binyamin Netanyahu and Amir Peretz reject negotiations with Hamas. Likud leader challenges Olmert government decision to release customs funds to Palestinian Authority, disputes further unilateral withdrawals and says West Bank defense barrier must be pulled back from the main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway.
Israel`s acting PM is calling on the international community to back Israel’s demand for Hamas to disarm, renounce destruction of Israel and stand by international Palestinian undertakings.
For next month, Israel will transfer funds to the Palestinian Authority – until a new government is formed. Amos Gilead, strategic adviser at Israel’s defense minister said Saturday: The PA is headed legitimately by chairman Mahmoud Abbas and we have to see what kind of government he forms after the Hamas victory. Gilead added Hamas officials will not be allowed to cross from Gaza to the West Bank through Israel.
If the Damascus-based Hamas leader tries to set foot in Israel, he will be arrested. And if he tries to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing, we assume the Egyptian side will do what is necessary. There can be no co-existence with a party bound by a religious goal is to destroy the state of Israel through terror.
Former FM Likud’s Silvan Shalom says the transfer of moneys to the Hamas-ruled administration is “scandalous,” and sends a wrong signal to donor-countries for their relations with the terrorist regime.
Hours after its election victory emerged, Hamas posted through a third party a threat that any holdups in funds transfers to the new Palestinian administration would be casus belli. It would prompt large-scale attacks inside Israel and disrupt its March 28 elections – acting prime minister Ehud Olmert’s prospects in particular. Hamas sources evinced an interest in an open-ended truce with Israel.
However Olmert’s military and security advisers warn that Hamas’s only goal is not peace but time to achieve full control of all Palestinian security and intelligence services in preparation for full-scale war against Israel. It will then employ its parliamentary majority to oust Abu Mazen as PA chairman.