- May 18, 2008
Hebrew press: Former Israeli officials urge government to negotiate with Hamas
A group of former Israeli officials, in the political and military echelons, had sent a letter to the Israeli government advising it to continue having indirect talks with Hamas Movement and even encourage it to have direct talks with it, Hebrew press reports revealed.
They said that the letter was addressed to premier Ehud Olmert, war minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Tzipi Livni and that among the prominent signatories were MP Yossi Beilin (the leftist Meretz Party), former Shin Bet chief Ephraim Halevi, who has actually been calling for talks with Hamas in recent months, along with former chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak and Brigadier General (res.) Shmuel Zakai, a former Gaza Division commander.
The letter that was published on Friday noted that the signatories believed that the only solution to the Qassam missiles fired by Palestinian resistance from Gaza Strip at Israeli targets adjacent to the Strip was re-occupation of Gaza, yet they affirm that the price would be heavy in terms of casualties in lines of the invading army.
It also opined that no political change would be possible after that operation as Hamas”s rule would not be toppled and Fatah would not be able to re-control the Strip in view of its frailty.
The letter proposed conducting talks with Hamas via the Egyptians or directly in its capacity as the sole method to restore calm after seven years of Qassam missiles.