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Updated May 14th, 2021 at 11:04 IST

Israel-Palestine conflict: Netanyahu vows to 'continue striking Hamas' to defend citizens

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue striking Hamas as Palestinians kept firing rockets from Gaza amid the ongoing violent clashes.

Priya Pareek
Israel
(Image credit: AP) | Image:self
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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue striking Hamas as Palestinians kept firing rockets from Gaza amid the ongoing violent clashes. As both sides continue to engage in violent exchanges, the health ministry in Gaza said at least 103 people have been killed in the four-day conflict. Jewish and Israeli Arab mobs have also been fighting within Israel, prompting the president to warn of civil war.

 "We continue striking Hamas while defending our citizens. It requires it will take more time, it will take more time," Netanyahu said as both sides continued to fire missiles at each other's territories. "With great firmness in offence as well as defence, we will achieve our goal of bringing back calm to the state of Israel," he added.

Isarel PM vows to continue striking Hamas

Further lauding the Iron Dome defense system, the Israeli PM said that it has already attacked hundreds of targets and hoped to pass 1,000 targets soon. Israel's Iron Dome is a short-range air-defence system designed to intercept rockets, artillery, and mortars and has been in use since 2011. As the system has a reported success rate of more than 90%, it is considered a very effective system. 

"The defense activity of Iron Dome batteries is giving us an offensive space and the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) has already attacked hundreds of targets, we will soon pass 1,000 (targets)," Netanyahu added.

Earlier, United States President Joe Biden discussed the ongoing tensions with Netanyahu and said that Israel has the 'right to defend.' While speaking to the press, Biden said, "My expectation and hope is that this will be closing down sooner than later. But Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory. But I had a conversation for a while with the Prime Minister of Israel. And I think that my hope is that we will see this coming to a conclusion sooner than later."

Israel threatens ground invasion

Israel, on May 13, said that it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and calling up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory. Israel launched its offensive after Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in retaliation for Israeli police clashes with Palestinians near al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem.  

As the two bitter enemies plunged closer to all-out war, Israel President Reuven Rivlin on May 12 has warned of a civil war between the nation’s Arabs and Jews. "We are endangered by rockets that are being launched at our citizens and streets, and we are busying ourselves with a senseless civil war among ourselves," said Rivlin.

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Published May 14th, 2021 at 11:04 IST

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