Jerusalem:  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Gaza operation was a “proportionate and justified” response to Hamas’ aggression, and accused Hamas of causing the high Palestinian casualties.

“Ninety percent of the fatalities could have been avoided had Hamas not rejected then the ceasefire it accepts now,” Netanyahu said Wednesday, referring to the truce proposal presented by Egypt three weeks ago which Hamas rejected.

Netanyahu said that Israel regrets civilian casualties in Gaza, adding that Hamas is Israel’s enemy, not the people of Gaza, Xinhua reported.

He then added Israel had no choice but to act against rocket launched from within the vicinity of civilian areas and near UN sites.

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