UPDATED 9:12 AM PT – Monday, May 17, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hopes the violence in Israel comes to an end, but doesn’t see it happening any time soon. In an interview Sunday, he pointed out Israel was hit by unprovoked attacks by Hamas on Jerusalem Day with thousands of rockets fired on the country’s cities.
Netanyahu noted, any country has a “natural right of self-defense.” The prime minister added, if Hamas thinks it can just fire rockets then sit back and enjoy immunity then they are sorely mistaken.
“We are targeting a terrorist organization that is targeting our civilians and hiding behind their civilians, using them as human shields,” he stated. “We’re doing everything we can to hit the terrorists themselves, their rockets, their rocket caches and their arms, but we’re not going to just let them get away with it.”
Netanyahu added, if 2900 rockets were fired on Washington or New York, critics would probably better understand his position. He said Israel will continue to respond forcefully to attacks from Hamas for as long as it takes to restore security for his people.
This past week, millions of Israelis were forced into bomb shelters as missiles rained down on our cities.
Several Israelis have been killed. Many more have been wounded. You know and I know, no country would tolerate this. Israel will not tolerate this. pic.twitter.com/INgjR91BS4
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 15, 2021
The prime minister confirmed Saturday that Israel has eliminated dozens of terrorists and seriously degraded the infrastructure of Hamas, including missile launchers and a vast subterranean tunnel network. Netanyahu said Hamas is committing a double war crime with its indiscriminate attacks on Israel.
“As always, Israel is doing everything possible to protect our civilians and keep Palestinian civilians out of harm’s way,” he stated.
The Israeli military said more than 2,000 rockets have been fired by terrorist in Gaza this past week, around half of which were intercepted by Israel’s Iron-Dome Defense System.