Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday morning that his country is aiming to “degrade” Hamas so they do not attack his people again.
Conflict in the Middle East has developed into a bloody exchange that has so far claimed the lives of over 145 Palestinians and 10 Israelis, according to Reuters.
Netanyahu told CBS’ John Dickerson that he will continue the campaign in order to protect Israelis.
“We’ll do whatever it takes to restore order and quiet and the security of our people and deterrence,” Netanyahu told CBS “Face the Nation.” “We’re trying to degrade Hamas’ terrorist abilities and to degrade their will to do this again.”
“So it’ll take some time,” he added. “I hope it won’t take long, but it’s not immediate.”
The prime minister dodged questions of a truce, saying that it is “false” for Hamas to think “they can sit back and enjoy immunity” after the actions they’ve taken.
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“We are targeting a terrorist organization that is targeting our civilians and hiding behind their civilians, using them as human shields,” he explained. “We’re doing everything we can to hit the terrorists themselves, their rockets, their rocket caches and their arms.”
“But we’re not going to just let them get away with it.”
Netanyahu noted that Hamas has fired “thousands” of rockets into Israel, and he insisted that Israel is “second to none” in minimizing civilian casualties.
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“That’s the difference between Israel and Hamas,” he explained. “They deliberately target our cities, deliberately target our civilians.”
Netanyahu faced criticism after the destruction of a building that served as the offices for Associated Press reporters. Israel claimed that the office also housed a Hamas intelligence office.
While no AP reporters were harmed – as they were provided with advanced warning – the action shocked and infuriated reporters, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken offering “his unwavering support for independent journalists and media organizations around the world.”
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Netanyahu said he provided the evidence of Hamas operations in the building to U.S. intelligence groups, but declined to state what evidence he had during his interview.
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