Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blamed Hamas on Friday for extending fighting with Israel in the Gaza Strip, casting doubt on the future of the Palestinian unity government that the Islamic militant group backs, while Israel’s premier said the end of the war could mark resumption of peace talks with Abbas.
Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that it is still early to tell “if the new reality” would allow a political process to resume but said he is examining the possibility.
The remarks by the leaders come a few days after Israel and Hamas militants reached a truce after 50 bitter days of fighting.
More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians. Seventy one people on the Israeli side, including six civilians were killed.
Several Egyptian mediated cease-fire attempts during the conflict failed. Hamas eventually accepted almost the same truce offered at the beginning.
"It was possible for us to avoid all of that, 2,000 martyrs, 10,000 injured, 50,000 houses (destroyed)," Abbas told Palestine TV in remarks broadcast Friday. He said Hamas had insisted on discussing demands first before ending the war, which only served to prolong the violence needlessly.