I spoke to Prime Minister Olmert a couple of days ago. He indicated that they would do the ground activities. Let's understand the background. For eight years they've been firing rockets into Israel. They've become more intense the last few months. Israelis have been killed, maimed and injured. Sometimes more than 200 a day coming into Israel. If this were going on in the United States from Vancouver, Canada, into Seattle, would we react? Course we do. We would have to. I think what the Israelis are doing is very important. I think this terrorist organization, Hamas, has got to be put away. They've got to come to their senses. The Fatah group, which is--makes up part of Palestinian group, has a peace arrangement with Israel. Hamas should do the same....Interesting. I wonder if he'd be admitting that he was "in sync with the Bush administration" if the Bush administration weren't about to leave — or if he would have admitted he was "in sync with the Bush administration" about a lot of things in the past if only the Bush administration had been about to leave.
And, and, and Israel, for--since 1967, controlled Gaza. They gave it to the Palestinians as a gesture of peace. And all they got are a bunch of rockets in return....
So you think that Israel ought to move forward and try to remove Hamas from power?
They have to. I, I'm not concerned about removing Hamas from power, I'm concerned about stopping the rocket fire and the mortar fire into Israel. That is the key, and that's what Israel's up to according to the prime minister.
Should there be an immediate cease-fire?
If the Hamas organization will agree and there is some degree of certainty that they will follow through. They, in the past, have simply not lived up to what they said they would do. If there's a way of enforcing this cease-fire, then yes. Otherwise, Israel has to continue till they stop the rockets and mortars coming into Israel, maiming, injuring and killing Israelis.
So you, you're in sync with the Bush administration on this point?
Yes, I am.
Anyway, I added some boldface to the transcript to draw attention to something that doesn't quite fit together. Is it important for Israel to remove Hamas from power or not? He seems to contradict himself. [ADDED: I think maybe he said "They have to" as a response to whether "Israel ought to move forward" and didn't mean it to apply to "and try to remove Hamas from power."]