PM says Israel wants to minimize harm to civilians as expanded Biden meet starts

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Before Biden’s meeting with Israel’s war cabinet, Netanyahu puts the focus on Hamas war crimes.

“While Israel seeks to minimize civilian casualties, Hamas seeks to maximize civilian casualties,” he says in a public statement ahead of the meeting. “Hamas wants to kill as many Israelis as possible, and has no regard whatsoever for Palestinian lives.”

“Every day, they perpetrate a double war crime – targeting our civilians, while hiding behind their civilians, embedding them in the civilian population, and using them as human shields.”

“Hamas is responsible and should be held accountable for all civilian casualties,” he continues. “We saw the cost of this terrible war crime yesterday, when a rocket fired by a Palestinian terrorist misfired and landed on a Palestinian hospital. The entire world was rightly outraged, but the outrage should be directed not at Israel, but at the terrorists.”

Netanyahu pledges that Israel would continue to work to keep civilians out of harm’s way, and will work with the US to do so.

“The road to victory will be long and hard,” concludes Netanyahu. “But united in purpose, and with a deep sense of justice… Israel will prevail,” he says, noting the spirit and will of the country and its soldiers.

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