Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells the White House "not to ever second guess me again" by forcing on Israel a ceasefire with Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
An Egyptian-brokered 72-hour ceasefire broke down Friday within two hours of taking effect when Israeli forces shelled central and southern parts of the Gaza Strip, killing dozens of Palestinians.
The United States and Israel held Hamas responsible for the breakdown of the ceasefire.
In conversations with Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior US officials, Netanyahu advised the Obama administration to trust him on the matter, mocking international efforts to forge a truce, according to The Associated Press.
Early on Sunday, Israel declared that one of its troops who had gone missing was now dead. The announcement came hours after Israel vowed to further escalate its offensive against Gaza.
“We will take as much time as necessary, and will exert as much force as needed," Netanyahu said Saturday at a joint press conference with Moshe Yaalon, the minister of military affairs.
The premier added that the Israeli army will continue its operations in Gaza even after it completes destroying Palestinian fighters’ tunnels.
US President Barack Obama had called for the “unconditional” release of the Israeli soldier who Tel Aviv said was captured in the Gaza town of Rafah.
Obama had framed the release of 23-year-old Hadar Goldin as a precondition for a possible ceasefire.
Netanyahu had told Kerry that Hamas would “bear the consequences of their actions.”
Israel’s bloody onslaught has claimed the lives of at least 1,700 Palestinians. More than 9,000 people have also been injured since the beginning of the aggression nearly four weeks ago.
Renowned Jewish American thinker Noam Chomsky told Press TV on Saturday that Israel has committed major “war crimes” in Gaza. Chomsky said Israel is much worse than the former apartheid regime in South Africa.
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