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Ex-Mossad chief: Now is the time to talk to Hamas

Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy
Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy. [File photo]

Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy called on Sunday for Israel to speak to Hamas saying that Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman could be the one to do so.

Speaking at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York, Halevy claimed that he knew, with certainty, that Hamas is ready to accept a temporary settlement, based on the establishment of a provisional Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, adding that this is their way to start the recognition of the State of Israel.

“The leadership of Hamas knows they have no chance of destroying Israel. Now is the time to talk to Hamas and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lieberman is the one to do this,” he said

Halevy said senior figures in the United States had contact with the group.

“As long as Israel refuses to talk with Hamas and in the absence of any other alternative, the movement has no option but to do what it does now… I do not justify it, but from their point of view, this is the only way we offer them, because we are asking them to step back and surrender, but they are not interested in this, therefore, I believe we have to talk with them.”

Speaking at the same event, former Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said: “I don’t think we can talk to Hamas, Hamas do not recognise Israel. They are an enemy state and we should treat them as an enemy.”

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