George W. Bush has placed the blame for the recent violence in Gaza firmly on Hamas in his first public statement on the crisis, CNN reports. Bush said the Israeli offensive has been provoked by terrorist rocket strikes, and blamed the hundreds of civilian Palestinian deaths from the offensive on the militant group’s strategy of hiding within the general population.
By spending its money on rockets instead of infrastructure, "Hamas has demonstrated that it has no intention of serving the Palestinian people," Bush said. He said he would not support "another one-way ceasefire" and called for stricter monitoring to stop weapons entering Gaza. He said he is in contact with regional leaders and that Condoleezza Rice is working for a “durable and sustainable” peace agreement in the region.