Netanyahu: If Israel Backs Off, Terrorists Will Be Energized

Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 11:09 PM

By Greg Richter

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Calls for Israel to back off in its attacks against Hamas in the Gaza Strip will only embolden terrorists throughout the world, says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

If Israel doesn't act, it would give terrorists immunity and would cause terrorism to spread across the Middle East and eventually across the globe, Netanyahu said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity." 

"It will be a tremendous victory for terrorism," he said.

Story continues below video.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay last week accused both Hamas and Israel of war crimes. Hamas has fired rockets at civilians, and most of those rockets have been shot down by Israel's Iron Dome defense system. Israeli rockets have killed civilians, but Israel says those deaths have happened only because Hamas hides its rockets behind Palestinian civilians.

"The Middle East is swept by this volatile mix, it's now almost a brushfire, of terrorist organizations who are using this tactic," Netanyahu said. "And we are left absolutely defenseless, and we say you cannot act."

Netanyahu called it a "double war crime" to target civilians while hiding behind civilians.

"We're in a terrible conflict with a terrible enemy, and we regret … every civilian casualty that we have," he said.

Netanyahu also said American aid to the Palestinians should be based on them maintaining peace with Israel.

Israel is on the "frontlines" in the global war on terror, he said, adding that his words are not "spin" or "whim."

"It is a clinical diagnosis of a pathological movement that is sweeping our area, but will soon come to a theater near you," he said."

The biggest worry, he said, is terrorists with nuclear weapons.

"If Iran itself can intimidate the U.S. with intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying nuclear warheads, then we bring history into a different threshold altogether."

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