Speed Reads

Conflict in Gaza

Netanyahu defends Israel's Gaza actions

Speaking publicly for the first time since a 72-hour truce began on Tuesday between Israel and Hamas (which so far appears to be holding), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country "deeply regrets every civilian casualty" in Gaza, but that Israel's actions over the past four weeks have been justified.

"Hamas must be prevented from re-arming," Netanyahu said, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. "Let's imagine your country attacked by 3,500 rockets. Your territories infiltrated by death squads. What would you do? What would you demand your government do to protect you and your family?"

Netanyahu also said the current cease-fire is a "testing period." So far, nearly 1,900 Palestinians have been killed in the month-long fighting between Israel and Hamas — about 400 of the dead are children. Three Israeli civilians have died, and 64 Israeli troops have been killed during the four weeks of violence.