An advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired back at criticism from the progressive “Squad” on Sunday and warned Hamas to “think twice” before breaking a ceasefire inked after 11 days of violence between Israel and the terrorist group.
“Ultimately, in the operation, we gave Hamas a heavy blow,” Mark Regev told Fox News on Sunday. “We dismantled a large part of their terrorist-military machine. We took out part of their leadership. We hit their command and control. Hopefully, they will think twice even three times before they strike at Israel again.”
Regev then fired back at Israel’s critics, first at those who suggested Israel’s response was not “proportional” to the terrorist threat.
“They were firing thousands of rockets on our civilian population. They were trying to murder our people in their homes. We were defending ourselves,” Regev told Fox. “They were firing out of schools. They were firing out of built-up areas. They were firing out of homes, out of mosques, even out of playgrounds.”
As for casualties in Gaza, Regev was quick to point out that Israel worked diligently to minimize civilian injuries and deaths and that Hamas’ own rockets caused significant damage within Gaza.
“We tried … to hit the terrorists and not to see innocent people caught up in the crossfire,” Regev said. “And while our goal was to avoid civilian casualties, Hamas had actually the exact opposite goal. They were brutally abusing Gaza civilians as a human shield for their war machine. We know for a fact that many of the casualties in this operation were caused by Hamas munitions. Almost 20% of their rockets fell short, landing in Gaza, killing Gaza civilians.”
Most notably, Regev fired back at a number of anti-Israel American legislators, largely members of the progressive “Squad” who were outspoken about the Israel-Hamas conflict, demanding that the United States refrain from supporting and arming Israel, its ally in the Middle East.
“Squad” members Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) went even further, accusing Israel of serious crimes and suggesting Israel did not want to seek peace with the Palestinians.
“The overwhelming majority of the American people stand with Israel, support Israel, are favorable towards Israel,” Regev said.
“Of course they want to see peace. But Israel wants to see peace too. We’d love to have peace with our Palestinian neighbors,” Regev added, noting that Hamas’ continued existence puts more than just Israelis in the crosshairs.
“People need to understand — Hamas is not just Israel’s enemy,” he said. “Hamas is the enemy of everyone who wants to see peace and reconciliation in our part of the world. They are a brutal jihadist terrorist group. No one should make excuses for them.”
As for the bombing of a building reportedly home to The Associated Press, Regev expounded on earlier reports that the Israeli forces targeted the office because Hamas was operating from within the building, noting that Hamas was operating an “elite scientific research unit” and was using the reporters as “human shields.”
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