PM Netanyahu: Hamas ‘Wants to Pile Up As Many Civilian Deaths As Possible’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on “Special Report” tonight to discuss the conflict in Gaza.
Bret Baier asked Netanyahu about Secretary of State John Kerry’s hot-mike comment ahead of “Fox News Sunday.” During a conversation with an aide about the conflict in Gaza, Kerry could be heard saying, "It's a hell of a pinpoint operation, it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.” He then said, “We've got to get over there.”
“I don’t want to deal with off-the-cuff remarks,” Netanyahu said. “I’ll tell you what my experiences have been. I’ve been in war, I’ve been in battle, and when you take a surgical operation, you can’t guarantee when your soldiers are being fired from Hamas homes – that is, Hamas is targeting people from private homes – and you hit them back, of course some people are going to be hurt. That’s totally different from deliberately targeting them.”
Netanyahu said Israel does not want civilian casualties, whereas Hamas “wants to pile up as many civilian deaths as possible.”
“We asked these civilians before we went in, we said ‘Please leave.’ We [texted] them, we called them on cellphones, we dropped leaflets, we told them where to go. And those who left were safe. Now those who didn’t leave – you know why they didn’t leave? Because Hamas told them to be there. Because Hamas – while we try to avoid Palestinian civilian dead – Hamas wants Palestinian civilian dead, the more the better, so [Hamas] can give you telegenic fodder.”
Netanyahu then called the conflict the “cruelest, most grotesque war” he has ever seen.
He also said he believes the American people know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are in this conflict.
Baier asked Netanyahu what he would say to people who say civilian casualties are unacceptable and call for restraint.
“I say forward that to the one address that’s responsible for all this, and that’s Hamas,” he said.
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