Israeli PM vows to continue Gaza onslaught

"The operation did not end," Netanyahu told reporters on Wednesday.

Israeli PM vows to continue Gaza onslaught


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue an ongoing military offensive in the Gaza Strip until calm is restored to Israeli cities.

"The operation did not end," Netanyahu told reporters on Wednesday.

"Our struggle against terror groups is a long and goes back many years. In recent weeks we have dealt Hamas a massive blow, the most serious blow since their establishment. We are determined to continue and use any means needed," he said.

Israel resumed its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday after accusing Palestinian factions of firing rockets in violations of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.

At least 21 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on the small, densely populates strip since Tuesday.

"If they fire, they will be hit back seven-fold," Netanyahu warned, going on to say that Hamas, the de facto ruler of the Gaza Strip, is now isolated.

"Hamas is Isolated now, Only Qatar, Turkey and Iran support it," he said.

At least 2048 Palestinians have been killed and more than 10,000 others injured in relentless Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since July 7, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Israel claims that the offensive aims to halt rocket fire from the blockaded Palestinian territory.

According to Israeli figures, at least 67 Israelis – 64 soldiers and three civilians – have been killed since hostilities began.

The Israeli Premier said that all Hamas leaders are "legitimate targets" for Israeli attacks.

"No Hamas member is immune," he said.

Commander of Hamas' Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades Mohamed Deif survived an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. Deif's wife and his 7-month child were killed in the attack.

Netanyahu dismissed reports about tension in Israel's relations with the United States.

"The relation between the two countries is strong. There is no crisis," he said. "I talked with [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry during the last three days."

For his part, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon blamed Israel for the Palestinian fatalities in the Gaza Strip.

"The Israeli campaign will continue until peace returns to southern and central Israel," he said.

By Anees Barghouthy 

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