SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Netanyahu confronted over Gaza deaths by prominent UK politician

A former leader of the UK Conservative Party challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday over th...

Posted: Jun 7, 2018 7:38 PM
Updated: Jun 7, 2018 7:38 PM

A former leader of the UK Conservative Party challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday over the use of live ammunition against Palestinians during recent protests along the Gaza-Israel border fence.

Michael Howard, who led the Conservatives between 2003 and 2005, asked Netanyahu why Israeli forces didn't use alternatives like rubber bullets.

Netanyahu said other methods had been tried, but didn't work.

The Israeli leader was in London as part of a tour of Germany, France and the UK capitals during which he has attempted to persuade European leaders to ease their support for the Iran nuclear deal.

He faced questions on a range of issues at an event in London organized by the Policy Exchange think tank.

Howard, a prominent Jewish figure in British politics who is now a member of the House of Lords, said that many would understand the need to prevent protesters scaling the border fence during violent demonstrations. "Fewer people ... sympathize and understand the proposition that the only way to stop them scaling the fence was to kill them," he added.

"Why couldn't you use rubber bullets? Why couldn't you -- if in extremis you had to use live ammunition -- why couldn't you shoot them in the legs? Why did you have to kill them to stop them scaling the fence?"

Netanyahu responded that everything suggested by Howard had been tried, along with other methods, but that they hadn't worked. "Nobody intentionally went out to kill anyone," he said.

The Israeli leader pointed the finger at Hamas, the militant group that runs Gaza, saying it had wanted more Palestinian deaths. "Their goal was to have as many casualties. Our goal was to minimize casualties and avoid fatalities," he said.

The questions from Howard came a day after UK Prime Minister Theresa May told Netanyahu that her government was "concerned" about the loss of Palestinian lives in Gaza.

"The UK absolutely recognizes that Israel has a right for self defense," May said during an on-camera conversation in Downing Street, but added that she hoped Israel could alleviate the "deteriorating" situation in Gaza.

Responding, Netanyahu said the issue was "rooted in the fundamental goal of Hamas to destroy Israel."

"This is not a non-violent protest, quite the contrary," Netanyahu said, referring to the Palestinian Great March of Return, a series of Friday demonstrations over six weeks from March to May. More than 100 Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli fire during the protests, according to a CNN count based on Palestinian Health Ministry figures.

Netanyahu said the Israelis were doing "everything we can" to minimize civilian casualties, "and at the same time protect Israeli lives."

Israel faced international condemnation last month after Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians in bloody clashes at the Gaza border as the US officially opened its Embassy in Jerusalem just 50 miles away.

The Israeli Defence Forces, or IDF, said protesters were trying to storm the border fence between Israel and Gaza. It accused Hamas of "leading a terrorist operation" and inciting the protesters to conduct what Israel described as terror attacks.

Palestinian leaders said the protests were peaceful and the use of force was wholly disproportionate to the threat.

The aim of the March of Return movement is to highlight the Palestinian right to return to homes and villages lost by their ancestors in the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli war.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 22°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 18°
Huntington
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 29°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 22°
Lima
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 23°
Dry start to Monday, snow/freezing rain moves in late
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events