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Netanyahu: 'We're trying to degrade Hamas's terrorist abilities'

Netanyahu: 'We're trying to degrade Hamas's terrorist abilities'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE on Sunday said the nation's forces are “trying to degrade Hamas’s terrorist abilities,” after violence in the region escalated over the past week.

“I think any country has to defend itself and has a natural right of self-defense. We'll do whatever it takes to restore order and quiet, and on the security of our people in deterrence. We're trying to degrade Hamas’s terrorist abilities, and to degrade their will to do this again,” Netanyahu told host John Dickerson on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

When asked by Dickerson how much longer the hostilities are going to continue, Netanyahu said “we hope that it doesn’t continue very long,” later adding that “it’ll take some time, I hope it won’t take long but it’s not immediate.”

Violence between Israel and Hamas has escalated in recent days, with the militant organization firing rockets into Israel and Israel launching airstrikes.

On Saturday, Israeli forces bombed a building that housed The Associated Press and Al Jazeera in Gaza City. The military told the owner of the building that occupants had an hour to evacuate before the structure would be bombed.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) defended the decision to target the building, saying on Twitter Hamas had “placed military assets” inside high-rise buildings for intelligence gathering, communication and other purposes.

Netanyahu doubled down on these claims on Sunday, telling Dickerson that an intelligence office for the Palestinian terrorist organization that “plots and organizes the terror attacks against Israeli civilians” was housed in that building.

“So, it’s a perfectly legitimate target,” Netanyahu added.