Netanyahu Defends Gaza Strikes, Says Israel Will Do "Whatever It Takes" to Defend Our People

(CBS News) John Dickerson - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told "Face the Nation" on Sunday: "We were attacked by Hamas...unprovoked attacks on Jerusalem and then thousands of rockets and missiles on our cities. And I think any country has to defend itself. It has a natural right of self-defense. We'll do whatever it takes to restore order and quiet and the security of our people and deterrence. We're trying to degrade Hamas' terrorist abilities and to degrade their will to do this again." "If Hamas thought that they could just fire rockets and then sit back and enjoy immunity, that's false. We are targeting a terrorist organization that is targeting our civilians and hiding behind their civilians, using them as human shields. 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. Neither would you. I mean, just imagine what would have happened if you had 2,900 rockets fired on Washington and New York." Asked about the bombing on Saturday of a building in Gaza that housed the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, Netanyahu said: "[The] intelligence office for the Palestinian terrorist organization [was] housed in that building that plots and organizes terror attacks against Israeli civilians. So it's a perfectly legitimate target. And I can tell you that we took every precaution to make sure that there were no civilian injuries....No people were killed." "We, unlike Hamas, take special precautions to tell people, leave the building, leave the premises. We make sure that everyone is gone before we bring down those terrorist facilities. And that's the difference between Israel and Hamas. They deliberately target our cities, deliberately target our civilians. They glorify the death of children and civilians and old people. They are happy with it....We grieve for every non-combatant loss in Gaza and we grieve for all our civilians who died." "When the international community attacks Israel, they're actually encouraging Hamas to continue these attacks because Hamas says it's great, we're both killing Israeli civilians gets the international community to focus their attacks on Israel instead of Hamas. That's wrong. It's both wrong and unproductive, because actually what it does is prolong the conflict and escalate and increase the number of casualties that happen as a result of the continuation of the conflict." "If Hamas would simply move these rockets out of the civilian areas, if they moved their command posts out of these homes and offices, then there wouldn't be any problem. You know it. And I know it. But the fact is they're sending thousands of rockets on our cities with the specific purpose of murdering our civilians from these places. What would you do if it happened to Washington or to New York? You know damn well what you would do. You'd do at the very least what we're doing."

2021-05-18 00:00:00

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