Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says offensive in Gaza to continue as long as necessary

A tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, blaming Hamas for starting nearly a week of hostilities by firing rockets at Israel, said on Saturday Israel will continue to strike in Gaza as long as necessary and do its utmost to avoid civilian casualties.

“The party that bears the guilt for this confrontation is not us, it’s those attacking us,” Netanyahu said in a televised speech. “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.”

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