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Tuesday, January 01, 2013
From Print Edition


OCCUPIED-AL-QUDS: Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Monday that there is no fundamental reason not to talk to the militant Palestinian Hamas if it renounces violence and decides to take a constructive course.


“There is nothing wrong with talking with Hamas, if you get an answer,” Peres told local Christian leaders at a New Year’s reception in al-Quds.


“But Hamas and Gaza have to decide what do they want, peace or war,” he added in remarks in English broadcast by Israeli army radio. The radio’s website quoted Peres as saying that future relations were up to the Islamic Hamas itself, which rules the Gaza Strip and espouses violent opposition to the Jewish state.


“What kind of relationship do they want to have with Israel,” it quoted him as saying. “A relationship of shooting or of building ? If they want to build, Israel would be happy to see them succeed. We take no pleasure in seeing anyone, young or old, suffering in Gaza.”