Palestinians must once and for all renounce Hamas to have a meaningful and lasting relationship with Israel, says David Tafuri, former Rule of Law coordinator for Iraq at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
"What we really need is for the Palestinians to turn their backs on Hamas,'' Tafuri said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
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"Not all Palestinians support Hamas, not even all Palestinians in Gaza support Hamas. [And] there are signs that Hamas' popularity in Gaza has weakened.''
His remarks came after Hamas broke an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement to stop rocket attacks against Israel.
"This is certainly an effort by Hamas to somehow increase their popularity by showing that they can confront Israel,'' Tafuri said.
"So, we have to plot a careful course here to divide the people from Hamas, let them turn to more moderate leaders. That's what really needs to happen.''
Tafuri, a partner at the Patton Boggs law firm, said Egypt made a valiant attempt to stop the violence.
"Unfortunately, it did not work out. Hamas is very opportunistic. They haven't fulfilled the goals of their effort here to terrorize Israel and they're certainly going to continue, as they made very clear and showed during the supposed ceasefire,'' he said.
Tafuri predicted more military action by Israeli forces.
"They probably have a long list of targets, they hit some, they want to hit more,'' he said.
"I don't think they're going to put a lot of boots on the ground. It would result in too many deaths and probably a lot of criticism of Israel, so I expect they'll go on with the air campaign and some limited Special Forces strikes.''
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