Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that his country aimed to “degrade” Hamas to prevent future attacks.
The conflict in the Middle East has turned into a bloody exchange that has so far claimed the lives of more than 145 Palestinians and 10 Israelis, according to Reuters.
Netanyahu told CBS’s John Dickerson that he would continue the campaign to protect the Israelis.
“We will do whatever it takes to restore order and calm, as well as the safety of our people and deterrence,” Netanyahu said on “Face the Nation”. “We are trying to degrade Hamas’ terrorist capabilities and degrade its willingness to start over.”
“So it will take time,” he added. “I hope it won’t take long, but it’s not immediate. “
The prime minister dodged questions about a possible truce, saying it was “wrong” for Hamas to think “they can sit down and have immunity” after setting off a rocket barrage.
LIVE UPDATES: ISRAELI MILITARY TARGETS WELCOME GAZA HAMAS TOP LEADER
“We are targeting a terrorist organization that targets our civilians and hides behind their civilians, using them as human shields,” he said. “We are doing everything we can to hit the terrorists themselves, their rockets, their rocket caches and their weapons. “
“But we’re not just going to let them get away with it. “
Netanyahu noted that Hamas fired “thousands” of rockets at Israel, and insisted that Israel is “second to none” in reducing civilian casualties.
ISRAELI STRIKE KILLS 26, SUPERIOR BUILDINGS IN GAZA CITY
“This is the difference between Israel and Hamas,” he said. “They deliberately target our cities, deliberately target our civilians. “
Netanyahu has been criticized after the destruction of a building that included offices for the Associated Press. Israel claimed the office also housed a Hamas intelligence office.
Although no PA journalist was hurt – as they received a prior warning – the action shocked and infuriated news outlets. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has offered “unwavering support to independent journalists and media organizations around the world.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Netanyahu said he provided evidence of Hamas’s operations in the building to US intelligence agencies, but declined to provide details during his Sunday interview.