Israel media reported former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy said Tuesday Israel should hold talks with Hamas since no peace agreement with the Palestinians is viable without the inclusion of the group.
Israeli newspaper Jerusalam Post quoted Halevy as saying that any peace accord reached with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas without Hamas was likely to be ineffective and remain on the shelf since the Fatah leader was both weak and lacked authority.
"It is difficult to believe that it is possible to reach an understanding with the Palestinians without Hamas being part of the solution," Halevy said in an address to the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency for Israel board of governors meeting in Jerusalem.
The former spy head said that Israel was "far away" from an end to the conflict with the Palestinians, and noted that in the years ahead would deal with conflict management and not conflict resolution, the report added.
"The question is how to contain the flames," Halevy said.
He suggested that a peace agreement would likely take generations, noting that Palestinian geography textbooks, in both the Hamas-run Gaza Strip as well as the Fatah-led West Bank, do not include the State of Israel on the map.
Halevy also said that Israel was not facing an existential "threat" from Iran's nuclear program, since the Islamic Republic would not succeed in attaining nuclear weapons.
"I am convinced that Israel cannot be destroyed," Halevy said. "We should not sink in to the doldrums of 'Israel is on the verge of extinction.'"
He predicted that ultimately the US will talk to Iran, and said that Israel needed to be part of such a dialogue.
Last Mod: 25 Haziran 2008, 11:16