Israel’s prime minister says he will not cave in to international pressure to stop a military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
Benjamin Netanyahu told a news conference on Friday that Israel will continue its offensive until rocket fire out of Gaza is halted. He says he has had “good conversations” with a number of world leaders, including President Barack Obama and European leaders.
“No international pressure will prevent us from acting with all power,” he said.
Netanyahu said Israel has attacked more than 1,000 targets in Gaza during the four-day operation and is using twice the force it used during a similar offensive in 2012. More than 100 Palestinians have been killed.
Israel’s aerial bombardment claimed its 100th Palestinian life on Friday as Hamas pounded central Israel with rockets and Washington offered to help broker a truce. The latest casualties include a woman and seven-year-old child in three air strikes.
Raising fears of an expanded conflict, at least one rocket fired from Lebanon struck an open area in northern Israel. As a result of the fire from Lebanon, a Polish passenger jet heading to Tel Aviv was forced to make an emergency stop in Cyprus, before returning to Poland.
UN’s top human rights official Navi Pillay said she is alarmed that Israel’s air campaign in Gaza may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.
Meanwhile, Israel has confirmed preparations are under way for a possible ground attack, with tanks and artillery massed along the border and some 33,000 reserves mobilised out of the 40,000 approved by the cabinet.