A Hamas offer to enter negotiations with Israel over issues related to the Gaza Strip and rocket attacks on Israeli civilians received a mixed reaction from members of the Israel government. transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz indicated a willingness to have “mediation” talks in an effort to halt rocket attacks on Israel citizens. However, President Peres and members of the right wind Likud were furious at his suggestion of mediation. Peres termed the offer by Hamas prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a “pathetic and misleading attempt to divert attention away from the crimes of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.” Likud leaders argued that Hamas would use the time spent in discussions as a means of resupplying themselves with additional weapons and rockets.
President Peres attended a meeting called by Turkey’s President Gul to meet with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas. This indicates Peres has trust in the good offices of Turkey. Why not ask Turkey to be the mediating party that brings together Israeli and Hamas leaders. Israel could even make as a precondition of such talks that Turkish soldiers be permitted to enter the Gaza Strip to ensure that no weapons were being smuggled in to resupply Hamas. As of this date, there is no indication the Israel strategy of meeting force with even greater force has halted rocked attacks. Isn’t it time to attempt new strategies?