Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired back at an ABC News journalist during an interview over the weekend after the journalist promoted Hamas terrorist propaganda.
Netanyahu made the remarks during a Sunday interview with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl on “This Week” while discussing Israel’s military campaign against Hamas, which came as a response to Hamas murdering 1,200 people in Israel and wounding thousands more in an unprecedented terrorist attack last year.
Netanyahu was asked to respond to President Joe Biden calling Israel’s military campaign “over the top,” remarks that Biden made during a press conference last week about his mental fitness for office where he repeatedly made mental fumbles.
“I appreciate President Biden’s support for Israel since the beginning of the war. I don’t know exactly what he meant by that, but put yourself in Israel’s shoes,” Netanyahu said. “We were attacked. unprovoked attack, murderous attack, on October 7th, the worst attack on Jewish people since the Holocaust. And let me tell you, I think we’ve responded in a way that goes after the terrorists and tries to minimize the civilian population in which the terrorists embed themselves and use them as human shields.”
Netanyahu highlighted the extensive measures that Israel took to mitigate the loss of innocent life during its military operation, including dropping hundreds of thousands of fliers, calling and urging Palestinians to leave their homes, giving them safe corridors and zones to leave, and more.
Karl then promoted Hamas propaganda from the Ministry of Health in Gaza, which is run by Hamas, claiming that Israel has killed 28,000 people.
“I think that any civilian loss, any civilian casualty is a tragedy, and it’s a tragedy that is forced upon us by Hamas,” Netanyahu responded. “But let me tell you something. I’d be cautious with the Hamas statistics. And I can tell you that, according to these urban warfare experts and other commentators, we’ve brought down the civilian-to-terrorist casualties, the ratio, down below 1-1, which is considerably less than in any other theater of similar warfare. And we’re going to do more.”
“We have killed — we’ve killed and wounded over 20,000 Hamas terrorists, out of that about 12,000 — 12,000 fighters,” he continued. “And we’re doing everything we can to minimize civilian casualties and continue to do so. But one thing we’re not going to do is we’re not going to let Hamas emerge victorious. And if we leave, it will be a tremendous victory for the Iran terror axis. It’s bad for everyone.”
Netanyahu said that victory was close for Israel as it has eliminated 18 out of Hamas’ 24 terrorist battalions.
“You’re mopping up the remaining individual terrorists, and when they release the hostages, of course, and ensure that Hamas — that Gaza is no longer a threat to Israel,” he said in describing what it will take to end the war. “You don’t have to kill every last terrorist. You don’t have to kill every last ISIS terrorist, but you make sure that ISIS was finished as a military force. You have to dismantle. Hamas is a military force that controls territory. We’re well within reach, and we shouldn’t stop.”