Netanyahu Accuses Hamas
of Calling for Israel’s ‘Destruction’
December 09, 2012
Last month’s deadly conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in the
Gaza Strip may be over, but the war of words continues.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the Islamic militant
group Hamas, accusing its leader of calling for Israel's destruction at
a mass rally Saturday in Gaza.
Speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said
Israel's Palestinian enemies have proven once again that they are not
interested in compromise.
He was referring to comments by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who
returned to Gaza on Friday after 45 years of exile. At a rally marking
the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, Meshaal vowed Hamas would
fight until all of Palestine, including the territory of the State of
Israel, is liberated from the Jews.
He reiterated this position at speech Sunday in Gaza. There will be “no
concessions on a single inch of Palestine,” he declared. He said armed
struggle would continue until the liberation of Jerusalem.
Last month, Israel and Hamas fought a deadly border conflict. Israel
pounded Gaza with air strikes and Hamas fired hundreds of rockets at
Israeli cities and towns.
Minister Netanyahu said Hamas is harming international efforts to create
a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.
He said Israel wants peace, but that is impossible with enemies like
Hamas who seek to destroy it.
Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2006, and a year later Hamas seized control
of the territory, ousting the rival and more moderate Palestinian
Authority headed by President Mahmoud Abbas. Today, Abbas rules the West
Bank and seeks a negotiated peace with Israel based on a two-state
But Netanyahu is skeptical. He said Gaza became a terror base for Hamas
after the Israeli pullout, and he promised that Israel would not make
the same mistake in the West Bank.