WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Bush said a Gaza Strip cease-fire must include countries that supply Hamas with weapons.
Bush, at his last news conference as president, said Monday that he hoped a cease-fire in the Gaza conflict would be in place before he hands over the White House to President-elect Barack Obama.
The president repeated, however, that an end to Hamas rocket fire into Israel and weapons smuggling must be in the cease-fire. Bush said the best prospects for that outcome were Egyptian-brokered talks in Cairo.
"We believe that the best way to ensure that there is a sustainable cease-fire is to work with Egypt to stop the smuggling of arms into Gaza that enables Hamas to continue to fire rockets," Bush said. "And so countries that supply weapons to Hamas have got to stop. And the international community needs to continue to pressure them to stop providing weapons."
Israel has said that Iran is a principal arms supplier to Hamas.