“Israel will not be able to destroy Hamas”, Middle East Envoy Tony Blair said in an interview, explaining that this “must come from the Palestinians themselves”.
Speaking to Israeli Ynet News website, Blair said: ” There won’t be a destruction of Hamas … you won’t destroy Hamas as a political entity.
“What I do know is that will only happen if it happens within the context of a way forward, particularly for the people of Gaza, that gives them some hope for the future, because in the end a political movement like that has support on the ground, and you need to shift … take away that support.”
He defended the EU’s intervention in the peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians, however, he explained, though the EU’s role is a big one, “you can only do that if you have the trust of both sides. And that’s difficult”.
The stalled peace negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides in April, following nine months of talks under American auspices, were preceded by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas requesting to join the 15 UN organisations, and signing a deal with Hamas to form a unity government and end the seven yearlong divisions between the two factions. Israel condemned the move and said it would not deal with the unity government.