Netanyahu pledges to ‘hurt’ Palestinians
JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday warned the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip that Israel will “hurt” them if they try to “attack” the Jewish state.
“We have one clear and simple rule and we seek to express it constantly: If someone tries to attack you, rise up and attack him,” said Netanyahu in the wake of protests on the Israel-Gaza border in which more than 30 Palestinians have been killed.
“We will not allow, here on the Gaza border, them to hurt us. We will hurt them,” he said during a visit to the southern town of Sderot.
In the face of 10 days of protests and violence along the Gaza border, Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
Israel’s response to the protests has drawn international criticism, with human rights groups saying it involved live fire against demonstrators posing no immediate threat to life.
The demonstrators have revived a longstanding demand for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to towns and villages which their families fled from, or were driven out of, when the state of Israel was created.
The Israeli government has ruled out any right of return, fearing that the country would lose its Jewish majority.
Palestinian youths burnt Israeli flags and planted Palestinian banners on dirt mounds beside tented encampments as others arrived on large trucks carrying piles of more tyres to burn. Others launched stones with slingshots.