Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his country’s retaliation against rocket attacks launched at Israel from Gaza, saying that Israel would do “whatever is necessary” to defend itself, and that Hamas is responsible for any civilian casualties that occur.
“This is an unconscionable attack on civilian populations, and of course we have to act to defend ourselves,” he told Bob Schieffer on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday. “We are doing exactly what any country would do, you would do, if you were attacked from across the border.”
Netanyahu said that Hamas rocketeers were embedding themselves in “homes, hospitals, next to kindergartens, mosques,” and that as a result, Israel’s attempts at surgical strikes in response had caused unintentional civilian casualties. “The difference between us is we’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using civilians to protect their missiles,” he said.
Asked by Schieffer about whether he agreed that the conflict ultimately had to have a political rather than a military solution, Netanyahu responded that Hamas was not interested in a political settlement. “They’re talking about destroying the State of Israel,” he said. “Sometimes you just have to fight against people who want to murder you.”