Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday said the nation is prepared to continue the operation to “destroy the Hamas tunnel network” for “as long as necessary” amid a days-long barrage of rockets fired by the terrorist organization from Gaza.
“The party that bears the guilt for this confrontation is not us, it’s those attacking us,” Netanyahu said in a televised address, according to Reuters. “We are still in the midst of this operation, it is still not over and this operation will continue as long as necessary.”
“Unlike Hamas, which deliberately intends to harm civilians while hiding behind civilians, we are doing everything, but everything, to avoid or limit as much as possible harming civilians and to directly strike terrorists instead.”
On Friday, Israeli tanks and other ground units were deployed along the nation’s border in an effort to prevent militant groups from crossing into the country after days of sustained rocket attacks by Hamas. A top Israeli official also threatened to hunt down every last Hamas commander until the rocket attacks stop.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted, “The target: The Hamas ‘Metro’ tunnel system in Gaza. The operation: 160 aircraft, tanks, artillery and infantry units along the border. We struck 150 targets and damaged many kilometers of the Hamas ‘Metro’ network.”
Netanyahu also met with United States President Joe Biden on Saturday, updating him on the situation.
“Prime Minister Benjamin spoke today with US President Joe Biden,” the PM of Israel Twitter account stated. “Prime Minister updated @POTUS on developments and actions that Israel has taken and on actions that Israel intends to carry out.”
“Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked President Biden for the US’s unequivocal support of Israel’s right to defend itself,” the official account continued.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized that Israel is doing everything to avoid harming uninvolved persons; the proof of this is that the buildings in which terrorist targets are being hit by the IDF are evacuated of uninvolved persons.”
The Hamas rocket attacks began on Monday and by Wednesday morning the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced more than 1050 rockets had been launched at southern and central Israel. The Israeli military has also struck hundreds of Hamas targets in response.
The IDF tweeted footage of some of the incoming rockets and its own retaliatory strikes that have taken place in “The last 48 hours in Israel.”
The IDF has also shared some videos of its military response. One video shows an IDF strike against a group purportedly planning to launch an explosive-laden drone into Israel from Gaza.
“OPERATIONAL FOOTAGE: This is the moment we targeted a terrorist squad preparing to launch an explosive UAV from Gaza into Israel,” the IDF tweeted.