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Netanyahu briefs 70 foreign diplomats, saying Israel wants end to fighting

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a briefing alongside Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi for over 70 foreign diplomats and ambassadors, saying Israel is trying to “achieve a state of deterrence against Hamas to bring an end to the fighting” but hasn’t ruled out “other options” which he says include conquering Gaza.

The briefing at Tel Aviv’s Kirya military headquarters is attended by diplomats from the United States, the European Union, Russia, China, India, Germany, Austria, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Italy and other countries.

Netanyahu also says that the origin of the current conflict is the cancellation of the Palestinian elections.

“Hamas used the events of Jerusalem Day and the situation in Sheikh Jarrah to serve its own political interest,” he says, adding that Israel is “doing everything” to minimize civilian casualties.

Briefing foreign journalists on the efforts to end the fighting in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says:

“We’re not standing with a stopwatch. We are taking care of the operation’s objectives.”

No timeframe can be announced for an end to the armed conflict, Netanyahu says.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also speaks, saying that the recently announced International Criminal Court war crimes investigation against the Jewish state will prevent Israel from advancing trust-building steps with the Palestinians.

During a briefing for foreign diplomats, Thailand’s ambassador to Israel tells Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi she is concerned that Thai agriculture workers in fields near Gaza feel unsafe and vulnerable to Hamas rockets.

Two Thai nationals were killed yesterday in a direct hit to a packing house in a community close to the border. Eight others were injured.

The foreign nationals were working in an area without proper fortifications, local government officials said. Alarms don’t always sound there.

Netanyahu replies that he will deal with the matter.

Source: TOI

Header: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) in a briefing for over 70 foreign diplomats amid fighting in Gaza, at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, May 19, 2021. (Prime Minister’s Office)