“If the leadership in Gaza would get rid of terror and free Gilad Shalit, there would be need for a blockade.” So said the President of Israel Shimon Peres. In a special appearance during the Jewish Agency’s annual celebration, Peres also spoke about the pro-Palestinian flotillas to the Gaza Strip, saying, “If Gaza turns to peace, there will be peace, and flotillas will be superfluous.”

According to the President, “If the leadership in Gaza would get rid of terror, stop digging tunnels and shooting rockets, stop attempting to kidnap our soldiers and free Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped from within Israeli territory, there would no need for any type of blockade.”

Peres also spoke about the problem with Israel’s world image. “Today the world is trying to delegitimize Israel,” he said. “Whoever does this thereby grants direct or indirect legitimacy to terror organizations like Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizballah, and their supporters.”

Israeli Public Relations Failure

On relations between Israel and the United States, Peres had this to say: “I believe that President Obama means what he says about Israel’s security standing at the top of America’s agenda. I believe that Europe, in its experience and wisdom will turn to the people of Gaza and the West Bank and clarify to them that peace is dependent upon negotiations.”

He added, “Our efforts to achieve peace need to stand on strength. They do not stem from pressure or from capitulation, but on a Biblical mandate for strategic justice. I do not believe we are alone in our efforts. Peace is dependent upon them and can only be found around the negotiating table and not through shooting.”

Despite the list of relief measures taken by the security cabinet last week, Hamas continues to blame Israel for its publicity. The organization’s spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhari, attacked Israel in the Saudi paper Oqaz in the background of the planned flotilla from Lebanon to Gaza.

“This is a failed Israeli publicity stunt whose purpose is to hide Israeli activities in the Gaza Strip,” said Abu Zuhari.” Israel says she is prepared to allow partial clearance to materials that aren’t concrete, while Gaza residents are still in need of basic building material in order to build Gaza back after its destruction and to save the Palestinian people.”

“The Palestinian people does not want to beg for food. It wants the right to live honorably. I turn to the international community to increase the pressure on Israel in light of the unjust siege and killing in Gaza.”