Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hails bombing as 'exceptional success'

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hails Israeli bombing of Gaza as 'exceptional success'
2 min read
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel had 'achieved [its] goals in the operation' on Friday.
The Israeli premier's comments come after a deadly 11-day bombing campaign in Gaza [SEBASTIAN SCHEINER/POOL/AFP/Getty-archive]

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday hailed Israel's 11-day bombardment of Gaza as an "exceptional success", after a ceasefire to end the deadly escalation took effect. 

"We achieved our goals in the operation," Netanyahu said of the campaign.

Israel claims it directs its attacks against militants groups like Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, and Islamic Jihad, the second largest armed group in the enclave.

Despite this, Israel came under fire for attacking a building containing residential apartments, plus the offices of Al Jazeera and The Associated Press.

The hawkish premier said "the public doesn't know everything" about Israel's gains in the operation "and neither does Hamas."

Perspectives

The Palestinian Health Ministry, based in Gaza, has put the death toll from Israel's air strikes at 243.

Netanyahu said Israel's strikes had killed "more than 200 terrorists" in Gaza, including 25 senior commanders. 

Defence Minister Benny Gantz added that Israel's operation followed plans that had "been prepared for years and months".

"The military action is over. Now is the time for political action."

The one-state reality: Israeli control of Palestinian daily life
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The pre-dawn ceasefire brokered by Egypt and agreed by Israel, Hamas and Islamic Jihad appeared to be holding Friday.

However, the same day the ceasefire was enacted, Israeli police have already used violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque, claiming these are "riot" suppressing measures.

Egypt has said it will monitor the truce. 

Gantz warned Hamas it would pay a "heavy, very heavy" price if it breached the ceasefire. 

The Israeli campaign in Gaza began on 10 May, after days of Israeli violence against Palestinian protesters at Al-Aqsa Mosque. This came alongside the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

Hamas then issued Israel an ultimatum for Tel Aviv to remove its troops from Al-Aqsa, before beginning rocket fire against Israel.