Peres criticizes Norway on Hamas

Israeli President Shimon Peres has criticized the Norwegian government’s refusal to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization, claiming that the country has “suddenly changed its standpoint” on such issues.

“I do not understand Norway’s position, and I say that as a friend of Norway,” Peres told Norwegian TV channel, TV2. “If they shoot, if they fire rockets, why doesn’t Norway believe that they are terrorists? What else do they need to do?,” Peres added.

In particular, Peres claimed that Norway had “suddenly changed their standpoint” on such issues when compared with the discussions around the Oslo Accords in the 1990s. “Let us not forget that Norway and the other Scandinavian countries called in Yasir Arafat and said: ‘if you want a deal, you must first renounce terrorism. You must recognize the state of Israel, and you must commit yourself to peace.’ Why is all this forgotten? What is the difference between the PLO at that time and Hamas today?,” the Israeli President said.

In response, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented to newspaper Aftenposten that “we condemn organizations that are involved in terrorism, but Norway has considered the situation as such that having lists where we put an organization and call it a terrorist organization will not serve our purposes.”

Views and News staff