Peres hails Abbas while Hamas criticizes
Israeli President Shimon Peres late Saturday described the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as a "real partner for peace." Peres made the remarks after an interview that Abbas gave to Israel's Channel 2, in which he called to resume peace negotiations with Israel and to abandon violence.
Abbas also condemned all forms of terrorism and violence, saying as long as he is in office there won't be another armed intifada.
He reiterated that the Palestinian Authority is in favor of the two-state solution with the 1967 borders as East Jerusalem as the capital. Abbas also condemned rocket attacks carried out from Gaza against Israel.
For his part, Peres said that the comments made by the Palestinian leader are "significant".
"These positions correspond exactly to those of Israel and the majority of the (Israeli) population supports the two-state solution," he said.
Abbas' remarks are "brave and important," said the Israeli president, considering that it confirms the eligibility of Mr. Abbas as a partner for peace.
Abbas "rejects terrorism and will not launch a third violent intifada and his "statements are courageous, there is a real hope for peace," said Peres.
However, Hamas violently criticized Abbas in response to comments he made in the interview. Abbas has hinted he would be willing to waive the so-called "right of return" and said he considers Palestine as "a state within the 1967 borders, alongside Israel."