The Israeli ambassador has backtracked on a tweet posted on his Twitter account, suggesting Israel was willing to negotiate with Hamas in an effort to stop the ongoing attacks between Palestinians and Israel.
Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to America, blamed staffers on Sunday, whom he claimed posted this tweet on his account: “Just appeared on the set of #CNN: #Israel willing to sit down with #Hamas – if they just stop shooting at us.”
The message goes against recent Israeli rhetoric suggesting that Hamas is a militant group that they will not negotiate with.
Israel launched a massive air campaign on Gaza since last Wednesday with the declared goal of deterring Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that runs the Strip, from launching rockets that have plagued its southern communities for years.
Quickly, Oren's tweet was deleted and a serious of explanatory posts followed.
“Correction: the earlier tweet about my CNN interview was sent erroneously by a staffer,” he later wrote.
‘I categorically deny the quote attributed to me by CNN. #Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated to destroying #Israel & killing #Jews.
“Worldwide and #Hamas is absolutely not a partner for peace,” he wrote in follow-up posts.
But, as a writer at Britain’s Daily Mail pointed out, the problem with his retraction is that it seems less believable given his appearance on CNN.
“The people and the government and the state of Israel want peace with their neighbors and we’re willing to sit down and negotiate with them if they’re willing to sit down and negotiate with us. Everything’s on the table, we sign on to the two-state solution we’re committed to it, just stop shooting at us,” he said to CNN’s Don Lemon.
Israeli air strikes across the Gaza Strip killed 10 people early on Monday, raising the Palestinian death toll to 87 as as Israel's relentless air campaign entered its sixth day.
The deaths came after multiple raids on Sunday that killed 31, in the bloodiest day of Israel’s bombing campaign, medics said.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel was ready to "significantly expand" its campaign against Palestinian militants in Gaza.