Two ways to deal with Hamas - conquer or deter them: Netanyahu

WION Web Team
Israel Published: May 19, 2021, 04:53 PM(IST)

Rockets launched towards Israel from Gaza controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement Photograph:( AFP )

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Netanyahu added that Israel is trying to “achieve a state of deterrence against Hamas to bring an end to the fighting”.

Amid heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said, "We’re not standing with a stopwatch. We are taking care of the operation’s objectives."

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The Israeli prime minister said there is "no timeframe" to end the conflict as the fighting rages into the second week.

"There are only two ways that you can deal with them (Hamas): You can either conquer them, and that's always an open possibility, or you can deter them, and we are engaged right now in forceful deterrence, but I have to say we don't rule out anything," Netanyahu said.  

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Netanyahu added that Israel is trying to “achieve a state of deterrence against Hamas to bring an end to the fighting”. The Israeli prime minister made the statement while briefing diplomats in Tel Aviv.

"Hamas used the events of Jerusalem Day and the situation in Sheikh Jarrah to serve its own political interest," Netanyahu said.

Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes continued in Gaza on Wednesday in a pre-dawn attack as the jets targeted Hamas leaders including the country's vital infrastructure.

At least 219 Palestinians have been killed during the strikes even as Netanyahu asserted that Hamas was set back by "many years".

Israeli jets pounded the southern Gaza Strip region in a 25-minute overnight attack as several buildings were damaged including hospitals, according to reports.

Israeli military spokesman said  Hamas and Islamic Jihad had nearly 12,000 missiles and mortar bombs even as 50 rockets were fired by the militant groups at Israel overnight.

The Hamas rockets targeted Israel's Ashdod, south of Tel Aviv but there were no reports of any damage.

Israel and Palestinian militants have been exchanging daily attacks since May 10 after Israeli jets pounded Gaza. Netanyahu said earlier that "Israel's attacks will continue for as long as it takes to restore calm." 

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