Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hamas of cynically exploiting Palestinian deaths to create striking televised images that will garner international sympathy.
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday, Netanyahu said Palestinian members of Hamas “don’t care” about the casualties they have inflicted on their own people.
“These people are the worst terrorists — genocidal terrorists,” he said. “They call for the destruction of Israel and they call for the killing of every Jew, wherever they can find them.”
“They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can,” Netanyahu added. “They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better.”
Netanyahu called on the international community “to demilitarize Gaza and to change the situation because it’s unacceptable. What makes it unacceptable is Hamas and Islamic Jihad.”
In a separate interview with the BBC’s Arabic department on Sunday, Netanyahu encouraged Gazans to evacuate embattled areas for their own safety, the Times of Israel reported.
“Israel regrets every injury to civilians,” the prime minister said. “I call on the residents of Gaza: Don’t stay there. Hamas wants you to die, we want you to be safe.”
Sigal Samuel is the former Opinion Editor at the Forward. When she’s not tackling race or identity politics, she’s hunting down her Indian Jewish family’s Kabbalistic secret society. Her novel THE MYSTICS OF MILE END tells the story of a dysfunctional family with a dangerous mystical obsession. Her writing has also appeared in The Daily Beast, The Rumpus, and BuzzFeed. Follow Sigal on Twitter.