Peres suggests Israel would deal with Hamas if it changes policy

Israeli elder statesman &to=http://english.pravda.ru/diplomatic/2002/06/19/30632.html' target=_blank>Shimon Peres suggested Friday that Israel might accept talks with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, the militant group that won this week's &to=http://english.pravda.ru/diplomatic/2002/07/17/32629.html' target=_blank>Palestinian elections, as long as it abandoned terrorism.

Speaking in Davos, where he was attending the World Economic Forum, Peres told The Associated Press that Israel would not talk to the group "if Hamas will not change the policy" _ a reference to its use of violence and commitment to the destruction of Israel.

"Until now &to=http://english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/101/397/14711_gaza.html' target=_blank>Hamas didn't change the policy," he said, adding: "they don't want to engage in talks, you can't force them."

In comments to the British Broadcasting Corporation, Peres elaborated that Israel would "have to see where they (Hamas) are going _ back to the road of violence and terror, or ahead to the route of peace.

"They didn't take yet a decision. They weren't prepared for this victory."

Peres, an 82-year-old Nobel peace laureate, recently left the dovish Labor Party to join the centrist Kadima Party, which is expected to win Israel's elections on March 28 and give him a senior position.

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RSS!

Author`s name: Editorial Team