Palestinian Islamic group Hamas heightened the crisis with Israel by disrupting peace negotiations, knowing it would result in the deaths of Gaza residents, said Sen. Tim Kaine.
The Palestinian Authority allowed Hamas to "derail these peace discussions," and then stood by as militants launched rockets into Israel, thereby provoking a military response by the Israelis, Kaine told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." He said Hamas should recognize a cease-fire because "their own citizens are suffering."
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"Hamas has decided for their own cynical reasons to disrupt the peace discussions. They are launching rockets unprovoked with the expectation that the Israeli response would be exactly what it is. Sadly, Hamas is getting what it wants," the Virginia Democrat said Wednesday.
Israel had suffered 32 fatalities since their military operation began on July 17, compared to 655 deaths in Gaza, reported Israel's oldest daily newspaper Haaretz
It was a "mistake for Hamas to reject the cease-fire proposal put on the table a week or so ago," Kaine explained. He indicated that Israel "was ready to accept it" in order to open the possibility to "negotiate again to find a political path forward."
"All the issues need to be put on the table," Kaine said. "You do that in a discussion. You don't do it with unprovoked rocket attacks."
It was possible to have a "peace process break down, and then not have bloodshed," Kaine said, adding that it was "very discouraging" for Hamas to "destabilize a path for peace."
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