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Netanyahu: Operation continuing, it will take time but we have backing

At a press conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says “the operation is continuing at full strength,” and adds that “it will take time” for Israel to achieve its goals with the military campaign.

He says over 1,000 targets have been struck in Gaza, exacting a serious toll on Hamas, including their underground assets, which he says have suffered a serious, but not complete, blow.

“No terrorist is immune,” he threatens, noting that the IDF has also taken out “terror towers,” referring to high-rise buildings felled by Israeli airstrikes.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a May 16, 2021 press conference (Screenshot)

He adds that the army is doing what it can to keep civilian casualties to a minimum.

“This will take time. There is pressure but we are getting serious backing, foremost from the US,” he says. “We have international backing and we are using it.”

He adds that there has been a drop in the amount of violence from the Arab public, following days of fighting in mixed Jewish-Arab cities.

“It will take time to restore quiet. We are acting against those who disturbed the peace. We want to stop the fighting first and then to rehab relations between Jews and Arabs,” he says.

Speaking after Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz tells a press conference that the army is continuing to hit Gazan terrorists, stressing the army’s accomplishments. He says the goal is long-term calm, and the bolstering of moderate forces.

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