WASHINGTON – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday in an interview with US television network CBS that non-lethal methods do not work in Gaza, after his military killed over 60 Palestinians on Monday.
“You try other means. You try all sorts of means. You try non-lethal means, and they don’t work, so you’re left with bad choices,” Netanyahu said in the interview with CBS, which was recorded in Jerusalem, adding “it’s a bad deal.”
Netanyahu tried to justify the shooting deaths of more than 60 Palestinians in Monday’s protests in Gaza, held against the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, which President Donald Trump ordered transferred from Tel Aviv.
The Israeli leader also blamed the Palestinian Hamas movement for the death toll.
“We try to minimize casualties. They’re trying to incur casualties in order to put pressure on Israel, which is horrible,” Netanyahu said.
“They’re pushing civilians, women, children into the line of fire with the view of getting casualties,” the Israeli prime minister added, who also accused Hamas of paying Palestinians to participate in the protests.
“Unfortunately these things are avoidable. If Hamas had not pushed them there, then nothing would happen,” Netanyahu said.
The killings of Palestinians on Monday has generated widespread condemnations from the international community.
At an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, the US was the only one defending Israel’s response to the protests in Gaza amid a majority of member countries that questioned the incident.