One of Israel’s major objectives in the current military operation in Gaza is to dismantle the network of Hamas tunnels uncovered this week, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
“Hamas received international aid from the Qataris and from others,” Netanyahu told CNN’s Candy Crowley on State of the Union Sunday.
Netanyahu noted that the aid was intended to go toward the construction of schools and hospitals in Gaza, but that Hamas used it for military purposes. “They took all that cement and built this vast tunnel network penetrating into Israel,” he said.
“They took cement that was meant to build kindergartens for Palestinian children and used it to dig tunnels to explode our kindergartens,” Netanyahu continued.
Netanyahu said that Israel will take whatever actions it deems necessary to protect its population against attack, and that while it takes measures to avoid civilian casualties, any that do occur are the responsibility of Hamas.
“They don’t care about not only targeting our civilians, but hiding behind their civilians as human shields,” he said. “They want to pile up more and more dead bodies of Palestinian civilians.”