Israeli President Shimon Peres says Hamas has no other choice but to accept a ceasefire and move toward peace amid continued airstrikes from the Gaza Strip. (July 15)
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Jerusalem - July 15, 2014
1. SOUNDBITE (English) Shimon Peres, President of Israel
"For the first time, if I am not wrong, and I think I am not wrong, Hamas is isolated in the Arab world. And they have to answer to the Arab world. They have to have money, they have to have support, they have to have legitimation. Who is going to give it to them if they will continue to shoot and suffer? It doesn't give us any pleasure to see them suffer."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Shimon Peres, President of Israel
"As far as the West Bank is concerned they are real and serious. We are ready for peace and I do believe that I can make peace with them despite the skirmishes here and there. And I think Gaza doesn't have a choice but to go for peace. Nobody will feed them for just shooting rockets. It's not a vocation. It's not an economy."
Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Tuesday that the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza presents a moral dilemma, but argued there was no alternative while Hamas continued to fire rockets at Israel.
"There is a moral problem, but I don't have a moral answer to it," the 1994 Nobel Peace laureate told The Associated Press.
Peres predicted Gaza's Hamas rulers will eventually accept a ceasefire because of Palestinians' suffering and also their own isolation in the region.
Earlier on Tuesday, Hamas rejected an Egyptian ceasefire proposal that Israel accepted, and exchanges of rocket fire and airstrikes gained momentum, resulting in the first Israeli fatality in nine days of fighting that has killed nearly 200 Palestinians.
Peres also praised Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who controls the Western-backed government in the West Bank, as "a real and serious leader who is ready for peace - and I do believe we can make peace with him."