Washington - Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused Hamas of violating a ceasefire that it had itself called and vowed that Israeli operations in Gaza would continue.
“They are violating their own ceasefire. Under these circumstances, Israel will do what it must do to defend its people,” Netanyahu told the news network CNN.
Earlier, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas agreed to halt firing from 1100 GMT in response to a request from the United Nations. AFP reporters in Gaza, however, said explosions could still be heard.
Israel has endorsed a ceasefire plan promoted by Egypt that has not been accepted by Hamas, but Netanyahu was dismissive about Sunday's latest UN truce call.
Netanyahu told CNN that Israeli forces would continue operations to attempt to dismantle Hamas' cross-border tunnel network and to destroy its stocks of rockets.
“I'm not going to talk about specific military operation,” he said.
“Israel is doing what any other country would do and the US would do if any percent of your country were under fire and you have 60 or 90 seconds to get to a bomb shelter.”
“I would say we want to stop firing rockets for sure. We want to dismantle the tunnel, the terror tunnel network we uncovered. I don't know if we'll have 100 percent success,” he said.
“Our soldiers are dealing with it now.” - Sapa-AFP