Peres: give Gaza back to Abbas
Former president Shimon Peres told reporters on Wednesday that Israel must work to ensure that the Gaza Strip is once again placed under the rule of the Palestinian Authority.
Speaking to the press after visiting wounded soldiers in the South, the former president said that the solution to the Gaza crisis must be diplomatic.
"Gaza was taken from Abbas [in a coup d'etat]," the former president said. "Abbas is the legitimate ruler whose position in Gaza is recognized by the international community."
Peres, who officially left office last week, also suggested that the government begin to seek out a diplomatic solution in earnest.
"Israel has exhausted the military option," Peres said.
The former president refused to comment on the diplomatic tensions between Israel and the Obama administration in the wake of US Secretary of State John Kerry's widely criticized efforts to bring about a cease-fire.
Earlier this week, Israel's ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, said that Israeli criticism of Kerry is “unwarranted,” as US officials made public their unhappiness with the attacks.
“Israel appreciates that President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who is here today, have strongly supported Israel’s right to defend itself. We also appreciate their efforts to help achieve a sustainable cease-fire,” Dermer said Monday at an assembly of Jewish leaders and top US officials to show support for Israel during its war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“I speak directly for my prime minister here,” he said. “The criticism of Secretary Kerry for his good faith efforts to advance a sustainable ceasefire is unwarranted.”