JERUSALEM (JTA) – Jimmy Carter on a visit to the Gaza Strip met with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
"I must hold back my tears at seeing the destruction that was inflicted on your people," the former U.S. president said Tuesday during a tour of areas of the coastal strip damaged during Israel’s military operation in Gaza, according to reports.
Haniyeh reportedly told Carter that the Palestinians would accept the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and that Jerusalem must be the capital of the state.
Carter gave Haniyeh a letter for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held by Hamas for three years, from the soldier’s parents, with whom he met Friday. Upon returning from Gaza, Carter again met with Shalit’s father, Noam.
Meanwhile, Hamas told several news agencies that it foiled an assassination attempt on Carter while he was in Gaza. The alleged assassins were said to be affiliated with al-Qaida.