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Former Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu called the “Palestinian propaganda machine” saying it had been “caught red-handed” after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Palestinian children had been killed in a rocket attack by Gaza militants that missed its intended targets.
Speaking on “Fox News LiveOn Sunday, the former prime minister claimed that Israel must “punch” the “lies” coming from the Palestinians.
“They said that we killed five children in Israel. They did not tell you the truth and it was caught on video,” Netanyahu claimed.
“These five children were killed when [an] An Islamic Jihad missile aimed at Israel has misfired [and] fell on these children, so they actually killed their own children trying to kill us.’
ISRAEL KILLED ALLEGED ISLAMIC JIHAD TERRORIST IN GAZA, ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL MILITARY OPERATION
Netanyahu made the comments as tensions between Israel and Gaza have escalated since Friday, when the Israeli military announced a formal operation after a coordinated strike killed top Islamic Jihad commander Taysir al-Jabari. According to the IDF, “Jabari is responsible for numerous terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.” A second senior commander, Khaled Mansour, was killed on Saturday.
Tensions began to rise after Israeli security forces arrested the leader of the Islamic Jihad group, Bassem Saadi.
In a statement sent to Fox News Digital on Friday, Gilad Erdan, Ambassador of Israel The United Nations said the mission was launched on Friday “due to an attempted attack on Israeli civilians by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
The ambassador said that “Israel was forced to launch a military operation with surgical strikes to thwart their rocket attacks from Gaza.”
“Palestinian Islamic Jihad is the radical terrorism of the Ayatollah regime in Iran, and its clearly stated goal is the destruction of the State of Israel,” Erdan continued.
The ambassador also called on “the international community and the UN to stop the false immoral comparisons between law-abiding democracies and radical terrorist organizations and to support Israel’s right to protect its citizens.”
Since Friday, militants of the Islamic Jihad group have fired hundreds of rockets at Israel, some of them aimed at Jerusalem.
Netanyahu said on Sunday that he sees the current conflict as not only a physical battle, but also a “moral and political battle” and a “public relations battle”.
He then pointed to what he called a difference between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, claiming that “they fire on civilians while hiding behind civilians,” while Israel tries to “target terrorists, avoiding as much as possible it is possible, victims among the civilian population.
“That’s the difference between a free society, a democracy, and these terrorist killers who follow this radical ideology,” Netanyahu continued.
The former prime minister’s comments came hours before Egyptian intelligence officials called for a cease-fire to begin a cease-fire on Sunday night, indicating a deal had been struck to end the violence.
The Associated Press reported that an Egyptian intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the truce between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad was to begin at 11:30 p.m.
Prior to the development, Israeli aircraft struck targets in the Gaza Strip, adding to the Palestinian death toll, while militants repeatedly fired rockets that reached deep into Israel.
Prime Minister of Israel Yair Lapid stressed that Israel strikes “accurately and responsibly to minimize harm to non-combatants”.
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“The Israeli government will not allow terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip to set the agenda in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and threaten the citizens of the State of Israel,” said Lapid’s statement. “Anyone who tries to harm Israel should know: we will find you.”
Anders Hagstrom of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.