Speaking in Jerusalem Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Israeli's offensive against Hamas and described the conflict with the terrorist organization as a test not just for the Jewish State, but for the international community as a whole. Netanyahu's remarks came shortly after an Egyptian brokered ceasefire was offered and accept by both sides of the conflict.
"The tragedy of Gaza is that it is ruled by Hamas," Netanyahu said. "They must be ostracized."
Netanyahu repeatedly stressed and detailed Hamas' tactic of using Palestinian civilians as human shields and held those tactics responsible for the loss of civilians lives.
"Hamas must be accountable for the tragic loss of life," Netanyahu said. "Israel deeply regrets every civilian casualty, every single one. We do not target them. The people of Gaza are not our enemy. Hamas is the enemy."
He also said that while he appreciates those around the world who recognize Israel's right to defend itself against thousands of rockets fired into the country from Gaza, those same people must allow Israel to exercise that right.
Considering Hamas' recent history of breaking multiple ceasefires over the current conflict, Israel is happy they've accepted the newest agreement, but is skeptical it will hold. Netanyahu thanked Secretary of State John Kerry for his support of a demilitarized Gaza as part of long term peace talks.
"Will we allow terrorists to operate with impunity?" he asked the world, comparing Hamas to al Qaeda and Boko Haram. "Can we accept a situation in which the terrorists are exonerated and the victims are accused?"