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Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:56:42 +0000
(JERUSALEM) -- As the ceasefire in Gaza continues to hold, Israel's prime minister is blaming the militant group Hamas for the number of casualties on the Palestinian side, not Israeli soldiers and firepower.
Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the Palestinian people are not the enemies of Israel. The sole intent of the four-week conflict was to destroy Hamas' ability to attack his country, according to Netanyahu.
He went on to say that Hamas used civilians as human shields on buildings, planted weapons and tunnels in and around residential areas, while not holding up the first humanitarian ceasefire, which led to even more casualties.
Close to 1,900 Palestinians, which included members of Hamas, were killed during the fighting. Netanyahu contends that 90 percent of the casualties could have been avoided if Hamas had agreed to the terms of the first ceasefire.
Meanwhile, the Israeli leader dismissed accusations from the international community, including the United Nations, that its military response was disproportionate to the threat from Hamas.
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