JERUSALEM, Israel -- While Iran remains the biggest threat to Israel and the Middle East, the crux of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Monday.
Speaking at the annual Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center conference, Ya'alon said Hamas will never accept Israel's right to exist or abandon terrorism, two of the Quartet's (U.S., U.K, U.N. and Russia) basic requirements.
For years, Ya'alon has warned that peace will not be achieved until Arabs stop inciting their children to hatred.
At a memorial for fallen soldiers earlier Monday, Ya'alon said Israel is surrounded by countries that have turned to terrorism because they won't pit their armies against the IDF. Instead they resort to missile and rocket attacks and attempts to delegitimize Israel.
The enemy's strategy, he said, is to exhaust and discourage people to convince them it's not worth living here.
Ya'alon said while Israel's hand is extended to the Palestinians, it isn't deceived by its leaders' moderate statements while simultaneously fostering incitement against Israelis.