Former US President Jimmy Carter called on the United States government to recognise Hamas, who Washington deem a "terrorist" organisation.
In an article published in the Foreign Policy journal, Carter stressed the massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in Gaza caused a "humanitarian catastrophe".
Carter added: "There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defence Forces are conducting this war. Israeli bombs, missiles, and artillery have pulverized large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals."
Carter stressed that attacks targeting civilians constitute war crimes, and the perpetrators of these crimes should be questioned about their actions and punished for them. He called on the United States and the European Union to recognise that Hamas is not only a military organisation, but also a political force.
"Only by recognising its legitimacy as a political actor – one that represents a substantial portion of the Palestinian people – can the West begin to provide the right incentives for Hamas to lay down its weapons," he explained.