Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu responded to outrage surrounding the mounting civilian death toll in Gaza and asserted that Israel was blameless for such bloodshed.
Netanyahu appeared on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, November 12 for an interview with Dana Bash, and was asked to respond to criticism of the Israeli military’s brutal siege of Gaza in response to a deadly terrorist attack committed Hamas militants last month.
The prime minister responded that “the blame should be placed squarely on Hamas” for deaths in Gaza. He went on to claim that the Israeli military’s shift to a ground-based invasion of the occupied Palestinian territory had actually “reduced” what would have been an even higher civilian death toll resulting from a bombing campaign, which he suggested was the only alternative.
“People are heeding our calls to leave the area, and defying Hamas’s attempts to keep them there,” said Mr Netanyahu.
Bash then asked “The Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, said that far too many Palestinian civilians have been killed. What is your response to that?”
Netanyahu responded: “I think any civilian loss is a tragedy. And the blame should be placed squarely on Hamas.”
His remarks come as international criticism of the Israeli military campaign is growing swiftly. Though the Biden administration and the United States remains vocally committed to supporting Israel, US officials have been more open in recent days in their own concerns about the scale of the Israeli offensive. The French government, this past week called for a full ceasefire.