Israel-Gaza conflict: We have to prepare for a long campaign, warns Benjamin Netanyahu

Meanwhile, Ban Ki-moon says those who attacked UN school should be held accountable


Israel warned its people today they faced a long campaign in the Gaza Strip as more Israelis and Gazans were killed in separate incidents.

Speaking after the news of the death of 10 children in Gaza City, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, said: “We have to be prepared for a prolonged campaign. We will continue to act aggressively and with judgement until the completion of our mission: defending our citizens, soldiers and children.”

Nine Israeli soldiers were killed in two separate incidents. Four were believed killed in a mortar attack while five more were killed by Hamas gunmen who crossed the border via a tunnel. The five gunmen were also killed.

The political fallout of the soldiers’ deaths will probably encourage those calling for Israeli military operations to be stepped up, since the deaths have highlighted that Israel has failed to eliminate threats from Gaza, which was the initial purpose of the three-week-old campaign.


Earlier the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said that the people who carried out an Israeli attack on a UN school in Gaza in which 16 civilians were killed should be held accountable.

“We were sheltering families – women and children – who had sought refuge from the fighting. Ongoing hostilities have prevented establishing conclusive responsibility. It is imperative to do so and to have accountability for this outrageous crime. There must be accountability and justice for crimes committed by all sides,” he said in New York on Monday.

READ MORE: Robert Fisk: What about foreign fighters who flock to the other side?
The children were playing in the street. The air strikes were tragically real

Mr Netanyahu rejected a UN Security Council statement issued overnight for not including Israeli security demands. The statement called on Israel and Hamas to “accept and fully implement” a humanitarian ceasefire that would stretch beyond the three-day Moslem holiday. It voiced “grave concern” about the deterioration of the situation and the loss of civilian life and called on Israel and Hamas to respect international law.

In a telephone conversation with Mr Ban, Mr Netanyahu said that the statement, which does not have the power of a resolution, “relates to the needs of a murderous terrorist organisation that is attacking Israeli civilians and does not address Israel’s security needs including the demilitarisation of the Gaza Strip”.

Mr Netanyahu’s former ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, meanwhile, advised that the Jewish state ignore President Barack Obama’s call on Sunday for an unconditional ceasefire, a stance that was echoed by legislators in the ruling Likud party. Mr Obama, who also voiced concern about rising civilian fatalities, said Israel’s demands that Hamas be stripped of its weapons should be handled in future Middle East peace talks, not immediately.

READ MORE: Video: Israel blows up Hamas tunnels
Jon Snow's heartbreaking plea to end child violence

Mr Oren told the Ynet news agency that there is no need to rush to heed Mr Obama since American power is on the wane. “The time has passed when the American President can dictate. That he told the Prime Minister yesterday that it is necessary to stop the fire and reach a ceasefire doesn’t mean you have to respond immediately.’’

Zeev Elkin, chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, from Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party, added: “You can’t forget that the government of Israel is obligated first of all to its citizens and not to any partner, no matter how strategic. It is a mistake to stop now. Hamas must emerge weakened and not strengthened. You have to continue striking it. At the moment it really breaks, it will beg for a ceasefire.”

Read more: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
Israeli military releases video footage blowing up Hamas tunnel
Greek Orthodox church becomes a small refuge in Gaza

Uri Avnery, a veteran peace activist, predicted there would be “no consequences” for rejecting the US President. “Israelis are close to not taking Obama seriously. The Americans preach and don’t exert any pressure. They don’t threaten to limit arms to Israel and they don’t abstain in the UN Security Council. Who cares about preachers? Without valid pressure Israel will not listen to anyone.”

On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on Scotland's oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
footballThe latest scores and Twitter updates from tonight’s games, featuring Bayern Munich vs Man City and Chelsea vs Schalke
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

10 best table lamps
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

English Teacher (Bristol and South Gloucestershire)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: English teachers for day to day cover,...


Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 6 Teacher RequiredThis teaching...

SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's Stortford / Stansted

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week