Israel Wants to 'Restore Deterrence' and 'Levy Heavy Price' on Hamas, Netanyahu Says
14:35 GMT 16.05.2021(updated 16:39 GMT 16.05.2021)
The Israeli Prime Minister also said that the military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip will continue "with full force."
With the recent escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict showing little signs of abating, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that the military campaign waged by his country will continue with "full-force" and will "take time."
In a televised address, Netanyahu announced that Israel "wants to levy a heavy price" on Hamas and "return peace and security and restore deterrence."
"Our campaign against the terrorist organisations is continuing with full force," he said. "We are acting now, for as long as necessary, to restore calm and quiet to you, Israel's citizens. It will take time."
The prime minister also claimed that the building in Gaza City that housed offices of the Associated Press, Al Jazeera, and other media outlets – that was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike – was a legitimate target, and that Israel has passed evidence allegedly proving it was being used by terrorists to US intelligence agencies.
The civilian casualties from Israeli strikes, Netanyahu insisted, are the result of Hamas militants launching attacks against Israel from civilian neighbourhoods.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict witnessed an escalation this month, following unrest in East Jerusalem over an Israeli court's decision to evict several Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, and the move by Israel to restrict access to the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount at the start of Ramadan.
As of 16 May, some 2,900 rockets had been launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip, with the Israeli Home Front Command reporting 10 death, 50 serious injures, and hundreds minor injuries.
Numerous Israeli airstrikes into the Gaza Strip have reportedly claimed the lives of 174 Palestinians, including 47 children, and left over 1,000 people injured.
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