Middle East Quartet representative and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem on Tuesday with Middle East Quartet representative Tony Blair. At the start of the meeting, Netanyahu said, “The brutal abduction of three Israeli teenagers shows the true face of Hamas.”
“[Hamas] is not only committed to murdering Israelis, it’s committed to kidnapping children,” Netanyahu continued. “And I think the international community has to condemn Hamas for its terrorist activities and I think it has to support Israel’s right of self-defense and I think it also must call on [Palestinian Authority] President [Mahmoud] Abbas to end his pact with Hamas. Anybody who supports peace must tell the Palestinian Authority that they cannot build a government that is backed by the kidnappers of children and the murderers of innocents.”
Blair expressed “outrage” about the kidnapping and said that Israeli-Palestinian peace could only be achieved once all Palestinian political factions committed to nonviolence and accepted the two-state solution.
Hamas has “a very clear choice to make,” Blair said. “There cannot be a choice that has political engagement on the one hand, and violence on the other. And the only way this is ever going to work is if all violence stops — the terrorism, the kidnappings, the killings.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor on Tuesday called out the international community for its silence in the days following last Thursday’s kidnapping.
“It has been five days since our boys went missing,” Prosor said. “I ask the international community — where are you? Where are you?”
After five days of silence, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemned the kidnapping Tuesday.