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

Jerusalem

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.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot