DUBAI: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was destroying the capabilities of extremist groups in Gaza, Al-Arabiya TV reported on Wednesday.
“Over 4,000 rockets were fired by Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza,” he said.
He added that Hamas rockets targeted civilian areas in Tel Aviv, and Israel wanted to deter Hamas and seeked to avoid civilian casualties, he said.
The Prime Minister said Hamas had created an extensive network of tunnels in Gaza Strip. “Hamas stores weapons inside a network of tunnels in Gaza,” Netanyahu said.
The extremist group is also using civilians as human shields, he added.
Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said no country in the world accepted to live in such danger. He also said Hamas targeted their forces while securing the entry of humanitarian aid.
President Joe Biden stepped up the pressure on Israel to end 10 days of conflict with Palestinians, making clear in a call Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he expected “significant de-escalation” by day's end.
Biden asked Netanyahu to move “toward the path to a cease-fire,” according to a White House description of their conversation.
The Israeli military said some 50 rockets were fired overnight from Gaza, with sirens sounding in the coastal city of Ashdod, south of Tel Aviv, and in communities closer to the Gaza border. There were no reports of damage or injuries.
Gaza medical officials say 217 Palestinians have been killed, including 63 children, and more than 1,400 wounded since the fighting began on May 10. Israeli authorities say 12 people have been killed in Israel, including two children.