Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his country’s response in Gaza on Sunday as Israel prepares to invade Rafah — a city that is holding one of the largest refugee camps for Palestinians fleeing the war in Gaza.
In an interview on ABC’s “This Week” airing Sunday, co-host Jonathan Karl asked Netanyahu what his response was to President Biden saying Israel’s response in Gaza is “over the top.” Netanyahu dismissed the comments, arguing that Israel’s response makes sense given the Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel that left about 1,200 people dead.
“I appreciate President Biden’s support for Israel since the beginning of the war. I don’t know exactly what he meant by that, but put yourself in Israel’s shoes. We were attacked. Unprovoked attack, murderous attack on October 7th, the worst attack on Jewish people since the Holocaust,” Netanyahu said.
He emphasized that Israel is going after the militant group and that they are warning Palestinians to evacuate when needed.
“We dropped thousands of fliers. We phone Palestinians in their homes. We ask them to leave. We give them safe corridors and safe zones. So I think we’re doing the right thing. And let me tell you one other thing. We’re going to win this thing. Victory is within reach,” he said.
According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians, more than 27,000 have been killed in Gaza since the onset of the war, The Associated Press reported.
When asked if he feels a “moral obligation” to “stop what is seen as a catastrophe,” Netanyahu said Hamas was responsible for any civilian loss.
“I think that any civilian loss, any civilian casualty is a tragedy. And it’s a tragedy that’s been forced upon us by Hamas,” he said.
“But let me tell you something. I’d be cautious with the Hamas statistics, and I can tell you that according to these urban warfare experts and other commentators, we’ve brought down the civilian-to-terrorist casualty, the ratio down to below 1-to-1, which is considerably less than in any other theater of similar warfare. And we’re going to do more.,” he continued.
Netanyahu’s come as members of the Biden administration are trying to secure a temporary cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas. The agreement would allow the release of the Israeli hostages, increased humanitarian aid deliveries into Gaza and space for diplomacy to converse about how to end the war.