Netanyahu on Jewish-Arab Violence: ‘Anyone Who Acts as a Terrorist Will Be Treated as Such’

Netanyahu says Gaza operation will continue as long as necessary and Hamas to blame, as international criticism of military actions mounts

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Lod, earlier this week.
Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Lod, earlier this week.Credit: AP Photo/Yuval Chen, Yediot Ahronot, Pool
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to violence by Arabs against Jews as terrorism on Saturday, adding that "anyone who acts like a terrorist will be handled like one."

Speaking at a televised press conference, the prime minister deplored the "grave" violence between Jews and Arabs in mixed cities, saying, "Arab law-breakers are attacking Jews, burning synagogues and Jewish homes. We will not stand for it." Netanyahu stated that "it's not the entire Arab population, or even a majority of the Arab population, but all of us must condemn violence by Israeli Arabs."

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He added that it was unacceptable for Arabs to attack Jews and for Jews to attack Arabs. "We must all stand against the rioters and terrorists, shoulder to shoulder," he said.  

Netanyahu also said that the military operation in Gaza will continue "as long as necessary," adding that Hamas was squarely to blame for the hostilities.

Speaking at a press conference, the prime minister also asserted that as opposed to Hamas, "which deliberately intends to harm civilians while hiding behind civilians," Israel does everything, "but everything, to avoid or limit as much as possible harming civilians and to directly strike terrorists instead."

A police car on fire in Lod, earleir this week.Credit: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv

The operation has killed at least 145 people in Gaza, including 41 children, according to the health ministry in the enclave. Thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel, killing 10. International criticism of the operation grew on Saturday after overnight airstrike that killed eight children and two women and the destruction of a building that housed offices of international media outlets.

Netanyahu thanked U.S. President Joe Biden, with whom he had spoken earlier in the day, for his unwavering support.

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