Israel’s Vice-Prime Minister, Haim Ramon, admitted Monday that the government of Israel has, for the last several weeks, been holding talks with the Hamas party, in contradiction with Israel’s stated policy of ‘isolating and attacking’ the elected Hamas-led government of the Palestinian people

The talks have focused on a negotiated release of the one Israeli soldier being held by Palestinian resistance groups, in exchange for some of the over-10,000 Palestinians (many of them civilians) being held in Israeli detention camps.  In addition, Ramon stated that the Israeli government is attempting to pressure the Hamas government, elected to lead the Palestinian people during January 2006 legislative elections,  to engage in a ceasefire with Israel.

Ramon heavily criticized the alleged talks, stating that when the Palestinian people elected the Hamas party, they turned the group from a ‘terror organization’ into a ‘terror nation called Hamas-stan’.  Hamas long ago denounced attacks against civilians, and has not claimed credit for any of the latest homemade shells fired blindly from the Gaza Strip across the border with Israel.

In accordance with Ramon’s belief, the Israeli military has engaged in a massive military assault on the civilian population of the Palestinian occupied territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip) since 2006.  The Gaza Strip, in particular, has been placed under siege by the Israeli military and imprisoned without access to food, healthcare, work, imports or exports, or basic necessities for over two years.

Contrary to Ramon’s belief, however, there is no Palestinian nation, whether under Hamas control or not, as the Palestinian territories (the West bank and Gaza) remain under complete Israeli military control.  The Palestinian government does not control land, air, sea, or borders, and the Israeli military arranges all permits, identity cards, passports, vehicle registration, hospital permits, taxes, and every other aspect of the Palestinian people’s life and livelihood.

Nevertheless, Ramon, speaking at a meeting of the Israeli party Kadima, stated that he hoped the Israeli government would soon take action to rid Israel of the presence of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.