Gaza violence: Doesn`t matter if global opinion turns against us, says Israel PM

Even as Hamas agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian ceasefire hours after Israel resumes its offensive in Gaza, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinian militants didn`t stick to even their own ceasefire, and they continued to attack.

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Jul 27, 2014, 19:53 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Washington: Even as Hamas agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian ceasefire hours after Israel resumes its offensive in Gaza, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinian militants didn`t stick to even their own ceasefire, and they continued to attack.

Speaking to the CNN`s Candy Crowley, PM Netanyahu said that Hamas was violating its ceasefire and Israel will "take what action we need to defend our people".

Putting in doubt the prospectus of another daylong ceasefire, Netanyahu told the CNN, "Hamas doesn`t even accept its own ceasefire, it`s continuing to fire at us as we speak."

In another interview to the CBS news, Netanyahu said that Israel`s security was of utmost concern to him and it didn`t matter if the global opinion was turning against Israel with each civilian death in Gaza.

Speaking to the CBS` "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Netanyahu reiterated that Hamas was responsible for civilians` death as it was using them as "human shields", as Hamas wanted to gain global attention by letting more and more civilians die.

Netanyahu told the CBS that Palestinians must be discredited and disarmed as Hamas “is not only trying to kill our people, it`s sacrificing its own people, quite willfully, deliberately, cynically and horribly”.

He added that Israel was not obliged to agree to a ceasefire whenever it was convenient for the terrorists.

"Israel is not obliged and will not let a terrorist organization, a ruthless terror organization, committed to our destruction, to decide when it`s convenient for them to stop for a moment, rearm, and continue firing on our citizens and our people," Netanyahu said.

"Hamas is responsible for these civilian deaths. Hamas is not only trying to kill our people, it`s sacrificing its own people, quite willfully, deliberately, cynically and horribly. They are using their people as human shields," he said. "They want the bodies of the Palestinian civilians to pile up. And every time we see a dead civilian, you know, we regret it deeply."

Netanyahu`s comments came as Hamas agreed to a 24-hour truce, starting at 2 pm (1100 GMT) Sunday.

In a text message, Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said that the truce was agreed upon, taking into account the upcoming Eid Holiday and people`s conditions, reported the CNN.

Earlier, Israel had agreed to extend the humanitarian truce in Gaza for another 24 hours on the behest of the UN, but resumed firing after “incessant Hamas rockets” continued to fall towards Israel.

Soon after Israel started its firing, Hamas said it would abide by a 24-hour “humanitarian pause” taking into given people`s conditions, UN request and the upcoming Eid holiday.

Hamas had earlier rejected the truce, saying no ceasefire was possible until Israeli troops leaving Gaza and those displaced were allowed to return. 

"No humanitarian ceasefire is valid without Israeli tanks withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and without residents being able to return to their homes and ambulances carrying bodies being able to freely move around in Gaza," Hamas said in a statement. 

Israel accuses Hamas of using civilians as human shields, saying that the militants fire rockets from public places like hospitals, mosques, schools, etc. 

 

In a Twitter post, Israeli army wrote how Hamas militants hide explosives amonst civilians, writing, "Yesterday in a house in Gaza, the Maglan special forces unit found explosives two steps away from a baby`s bed". 

Numerous diplomatic efforts to bring in a truce have ended in disappointment and both warring sides continue to exchange fire as the violence entered its twentieth day.