The Israeli Prime Minister also said that the military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip will continue “with all force.”
As the recent escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict shows little signs of abating, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that the military campaign waged by his country is continuing “full-force” and will “take time”.
In a televised address, Netanyahu announced that Israel “wants to levy a heavy price” on Hamas and “return peace and security and restore deterrence”.
“Our campaign against the terrorist organisations is continuing with full force,” he said. “We are acting now, for as long as necessary, to restore calm and quiet to you, Israel’s citizens. It will take time.”
The prime minister also claimed that the building in Gaza City that housed offices of The Associated Press, Al Jazeera and other media outlets, which was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike, was a legitimate target, and that Israel passed evidence on terrorist presence in that building to US intelligence agencies.
The civilian casualties from Israeli strikes, Netanyahu insisted, are the result of Hamas militants launching attacks against Israel from civilian neighborhoods.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict witnessed an escalation this month, following unrest in East Jerusalem over the decision made by an Israeli court to evict several Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, and the move by Israel to restrict access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on the Temple Mount at the start of the Islamic month of Ramadan.
As of 16 May, some 2,900 rockets had been launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip, with the Israeli Home Front Command reporting 10 people dead, about 50 seriously injured and hundreds of others suffering minor injuries.
Numerous Israeli airstrikes carried out against the Gaza Strip claimed the lives of 174 Palestinians, including 47 children, and left over 1,000 others injured.