Netanyahu: Hamas Violated Own Cease-Fire; Israel Will Not Let Hamas Decide When It Is Convenient, Not Convenient To Attack

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Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal talks during a news conference in Doha July 23, 2014. Meshaal said he was ready to accept a humanitarian truce in Gaza where the Islamist group is fighting an Israeli military offensive, but would not agree to a full ceasefire until the terms had been negotiated.

UPDATE 4 p.m.: U.S. President Barack Obama talked by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushing for a humanitarian cease-fire in the wake of mounting Palestinian casualties, a White House statement said.

Original story

Israel's prime minister Sunday accused Hamas of not even accepting "its own cease-fire" as rockets and mortars rained down on Israel.

The Israeli military said 56 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel Sunday, from midnight to 9 p.m., local time, seven of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the Jerusalem Post reported.

In appearances on several of the Sunday U.S. talk shows, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged not agree to a cease-fire simply to allow Hamas to rearm. He said Israel would do whatever it needs to "to protect our people."

Fighting erupted nearly three weeks ago after three Israeli teens were kidnapped and killed, a Palestinian youth was burned to death and Hamas began firing rockets into Israeli territory. Since then more than 1,000 Palestinians and 42 Israelis have been killed.

Netanyahu's comments came after Hamas apparently violated a cease-fire it had sought and to which both sides had agreed to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

“Hamas doesn’t even accept its own cease-fire. It’s continuing to fire at us as we speak," Netanyahu said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

“Hamas is simply continuing all its operations, and Israel will not let this terror operation decide when it’s convenient for them and not convenient for them to attack our people."

Netanyahu called for acceptance of an Egyptian cease-fire plan during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"That's the only game in town," Netanyahu said. "It will enable us to actually get a sustainable cease-fire."

When asked on CBS' "Face the Nation" whether Israel would be condemned because of the mounting Palestinian death toll, Netanyahu said he could not let that influence his decisions and accused Hamas of cynically putting people's lives at stake to create pictures of casualties.

Netanyahu said Israel has never purposefully targeted civilians.

In a companion interview on "Face the Nation," Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal demanded Israel recognize the rights of the Palestinians to their own state but refused to say whether such a state would recognize Israel's right to exist.

"I do not want to live with a state of occupiers," Meshaal said.

"We are not fanatics; we are not fundamentalists. We do not actually fight the Jews because they are Jews per se. We do not fight any other races. We fight the occupiers."

Asked if he would recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Meshaal said, "No."

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