JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that any building from which Hamas carries out terrorist activities is a target for Israel.
Netanyahu, speaking at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday morning, said the Gaza operation will continue “until its goals are achieved.” As he did earlier this month, the Israeli leader again equated Hamas to the jihadist group ISIS.
He called on the residents of Gaza “to immediately evacuate any building from which Hamas is carrying out terrorist activity. Any such place is a target for us.
“In recent days we have proven there is no immunity for those who fire at Israel’s citizens,” Netanyahu said. “This is true in all sectors and regarding all borders.”
Several hours earlier, Israel had leveled a 12-story apartment building with an airstrike that its military said housed Hamas operations.
Addressing directly the Israeli citizens living in areas on the border with Gaza, Netanyahu said, “I appreciate your resilience. I appreciate your suffering and I share your pain.” He promised that the government would approve a package of assistance for southern Israeli communities for during and after the operation.
Netanyahu also said, “Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas. They act in the same way. They are branches of the same poisonous tree. They are two extremist Islamic terrorist movements that abduct and murder innocents, that execute their own people, that shrink at nothing including the willful murder of children.”
The Gaza operation could extend into the start of the school year, the prime minister said.