In an address from Tel Aviv Saturday afternoon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel’s military offensive against Hamas would continue “at full scale” to bring back the quiet,” at which point Israel would encourage the international community to help Gaza rebuild its infrastructure.
On Friday Israel declared itself done with ceasefires after Hamas almost immediately broke a 72-hour cessation in hostilities, and said it would unilaterally see through military operations against Gaza. There was chatter Saturday that Israel was bringing its operations to a close, but Netanyahu offered no sign that forces would be withdrawn from Gaza imminently.
Netanyahu said that the Israeli military had already destroyed thousands of Hamas terrorist targets and shut down a number of the tunnels that had been used to kidnap Israeli citizens and soldiers. “We managed to hurt severely the strategic system Hamas built for many years,” Netanyahu said.
While the Prime Minister has had icy relations with the U.S. and especially its president, he praised Barack Obama in the speech for remarks yesterday condemning Hamas’ alleged kidnapping of an Israeli soldier shortly after the start of the ceasefire.
Almost 1,700 Palestinians have been killed since the start of hostilities three weeks ago, and a large portion of Gaza’s infrastructure, including its only power plant, has been destroyed.
Watch the clip below, via CNN:
[Image via screengrab]
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