Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to do “whatever is necessary to protect our people” on Sunday, as temporary attempts to peace with Hamas fall apart .
“We will take what action is necessary to defend our people both in a tactical sense and strategic sense,” he added on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Hamas doesn’t even accept its own ceasefire,” he said. “It’s continuing to fire at us as we speak.”
Earlier in the weekend, Hamas reportedly rejected another temporary truce by lunching several rockets into Israel.
The nearly three weeks of violence have left more than 1,000 people dead in Gaza, many of them civilians, as well as 44 Israelis.
Netanyahu pointed the finger for those civilian deaths at Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist organization.
“Hamas is betting on that fact that people don’t have the context, basically that they can hoodwink people, mislead the entire world,” he said on CNN.
By using civilians as a human shield, the group is effectively hoping for more deaths in order to increase public support around the world, Netanyahu claimed. Though it has not targeted civilians, some "incidental" deaths are tragically inevitable, he added.
“The history of warfare has not enabled any army... to be able to deal with a ruthless terrorist enemy that uses civilians as a human shield without having some incidental civilian casualties,” he told the news station. “If you think of what the United States would do under similar circumstances, you would act, at the very least, in the same way.”
Refusing to fire on Hamas to prevent civilian casualties, he said, would be letting them win.
“You don’t want to give the terrorists immunity because they use civilians as a human shield,” Netanyahu said. “That’s deadly for peace in the world and would be a big victory for terrorism.”