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Netanyahu: Israel won’t back down on military offensive in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that government forces will press on with their days-long military offensive in the Gaza Strip, insisting that his country will not back down even as world leaders call for a halt in hostilities.

“No international pressure will prevent us from acting with all power,” he said during a news conference in Jerusalem, adding that the bombardment of Gaza would continue unless rocket fire from Gaza, targeting Israel, stops.

The Israeli military has pounded the Gaza Strip with airstikes since Monday, striking more than 1,000 targets, Netanyahu said. The Associated Press reports that the attacks have killed more than 100 Palestinians and wounded hundreds more.

Palestinian militants have returned fire, launching numerous rockets into Israel. No deaths have resulted from the militant attacks so far, but a number of those rockets were intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system.

Hamas militants today also put international airlines on alert, warning that they may soon target the Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv.

As the onslaught continued, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appealed to the United Nations Security Council to condemn the Israeli military operation and compel an immediate truce in the hostilities.

“The Palestinian leadership urges the Security Council to quickly issue a clear condemnation of this Israeli aggression and impose a commitment of a mutual ceasefire immediately,” Abbas said.

This comes a day after President Obama called Netanyahu offering to broker a ceasefire.

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