Netanyahu: Hamas paying Gazans to infiltrate into Israel

Netanyahu to CBS: Hamas pushing women and children into the line of fire. We won't talk to them as they seek our destruction.

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Elad Benari,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Gili Yaari/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Hamas was paying Gazans to try to infiltrate into Israel.

Netanyahu, in an interview with CBS Evening News, was asked by anchor Jeff Glor if there is anything he would have done differently vis-à-vis the violent protests along the Gaza border on Monday, in which 58 Gazans, including 24 terrorists, were killed.

"Well, I wish that it wouldn't have happened at all," Netanyahu said. "I mean, Hamas is pushing people with a view of a massive infiltration into Israel, openly declaring their goal is to destroy Israel. They're paying these people. So it's, it's not the, you know, the peaceful demonstrations that you think about."

"They're pushing civilians, women, children into the line of fire with the view of getting casualties. We try to minimize casualties. They're trying to incur casualties in order to put pressure on Israel, which is horrible," he continued.

Asked about whether Israeli forces went too far in opening fire against the rioters, Netanyahu said he didn't know of "any army" that would do anything differently.

"You try other means. You try all sorts of means. You try non-lethal means and they don't work. So you're left with bad choices. It's a bad deal. You know, you try and you go for below the knee and sometimes it doesn't work. And unfortunately, these things are avoidable. If Hamas had not pushed them there, then nothing would happen," he continued.

Glor quoted IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who said that Gaza could be on the verge of collapse, and asked what would occur were that to happen.

"Well, first of all let's understand why it's on the verge of collapse, because the Palestinian Authority has stopped giving them money," Netanyahu replied. "The money they normally gave them, they stopped giving them, so they're in financial crisis. So having received less money and taking the money they have to their terror machine and to the stuff that they are doing yesterday, that's why Gaza is in crisis."

Asked if Israel plans to target any of Hamas’s leaders, Netanyahu responded, "We don't think that anyone is immune if they dispatch terrorists to kill us.”

Netanyahu said he doesn't see any circumstance where he would be open to talks with Hamas in the current climate.

"As long as they seek our destruction, what am I going to talk about? I mean, if somebody said, 'Could you talk to Al-Qaeda? Could you talk -- would you have discussions with bin Laden?' About what?"

The interview also dealt with the recent tensions with Iran, after the IDF attacked Iranian targets in Syria in response to Iranian rocket fire into the Golan Heights. Glor asked Netanyahu if Israel is at war with Iran.

"They're at war with us," he replied. "We never sought any enmity with Iran. They openly declared that their goal is to annihilate us. Every day."

Netanyahu also stressed that Israel "will not let Iran develop a nuclear weapon."

Asked if peace with the Arab world is possible, Netanyahu noted that Israel already has peace with Egypt and Jordan. As for peace with Palestinian Arabs, he said he thinks it's "possible," but not with Hamas.








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