Israeli President Shimon Peres after a meeting on Capitol Hill April 6, 2011 in Washington, DC
Abbas is the only one with legitimate authority, says recently retired Israeli president

Gaza belongs to Mahmoud Abbas, and must be returned to him, recently retired Israeli President Shimon Peres told reporters on Wednesday after visiting wounded soldiers in Beersheba.

"In diplomacy, there is one rule: legitimacy. Gaza belongs to Mahmoud Abbas, he is the only one with legitimate authority, and the agreement was signed with him. Gaza was stolen from him. The best thing to do is return it to him. He has proven that he knows how to lead, and he can save Gaza, with the help of Egypt and the Arab world."

"This war is characterized by one thing," Peres continued. "There is no more Arab world against Israel. Hamas is more internationally isolated than Israel. The Arab world understands that the danger comes from extremists. They are dissolving one nation after another. Just yesterday, Libya fell."

"I think the war has exhausted itself and now we need to stop it. There is no real army in Gaza, no real government, every one speaks in a different voice. This will take a little time but it will end."

" I hope that at the end of the day the other side reaches the conclusion that the great victory will be to end this diplomatically and peacefully. No one benefits when a child is killled, Everyone benefits when children are able to sleep at night.``

"Therefore the solution is to return power to those who received it legally. The entire world needs to rehabilitate Gaza."

Peres also praised the bravery of the Israeli soldiers who had fought in Gaza.

"I think this is one of the most moving visits I have had in my life. It is a true story of bravery, not in the abstract, but of every single soldier."

"This is a war of the army against terrorism, but also a war of every soldier against a person who doesn't respect human life, who is ready to murder. A war of brave people against people who have no restraints. Wicked people who don't have pity even on themselves."

"The soldiers went straight into hell, because every footstep, every corner held someone lying in ambush, and they went in without complaint, there were no soldiers who did not fulfill their duty. There are some amazing tales of heroism."

"I think that what happened is very interesting. You don't need any propaganda. I have never seen the nation so loving and unified, so proud of our soldiers, so aware of the dangers they took upon themselves."


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  • Nissim Gluck
    August 01st 2014 - 03:07pm

    Sorry Sir Peres, but Mahmoud Abbas has voiced his support of Hamas and even wants to sue Israel for supposed war crimes. I hope for your sake that retirement isn't inflicting your judgment..

  • William Klein
    July 31st 2014 - 02:46am

    Wasn't it another person, who was considered for the post of Israel's First President -- I mean Albert Einstein -- who said that to keep on doing the same thing, each time expecting a different result was a definition of insanity?

    Who today, among Israelis and Jews, believes that Abbas is a reliable, reputable, "partner" with whom we can make peace -- besides Shimon Peres?

    I've heard Shimon Peres speak. He is very eloquent. I once heard him describe why Israeli cows produce more milk than the cows of any other nation. He was terrific.

    But, with life-and-death issues like the current war with Hamas, I think Peres should be asked to play with cows: in other words, he should be put out to pasture.

  • Scott Law
    July 30th 2014 - 06:18pm

    Mr. Peres, it is now confirmed, you are out of your mind (still!!!!). If you recall, there was no Coup d'état in Gaza, these "people" elected Hamas in a democratic election. They asked for it, they got it!!!!

    I suggest all the inhabitants be moved to the Sinai, level Gaza, put in a Costco, Target, Walmart, and a Home Depot...............

  • Joe Schoemann
    July 30th 2014 - 01:55pm

    NOT TRUE. Abbas has no leadership abilities. Gaza vote for Hamas, they don't want anything except Israel's destruction.
    Shimon, we have heard your opinions and seen the results of your faked peace accord.
    The Israeli public is tired of politicians making decisions they are not authorized to make and then bluffing the public under a blanket of lies. The real Oslo accords are hidden from the Israeli public, they would not tolerate the sell out of their 'leaders'.
    Israelis want transparency in all dealings. No more secret Camp David type of meetings.