Israelis divided over possible new offensive against Hamas in Gaza

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Israeli public opinion is divided over whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should launch a new offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

Following the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, Netanyahu called for “revenge” and promptly carried out air strikes in Gaza.

Israel blames Hamas for the killing of the three teens, although Hamas has not claimed responsibility.

Some Israeli ministers have called for a mass bombardment campaign and invasion and reoccupation of the Gaza Strip. The political left as well as some parts of the military and secret service argue it’s not a good idea to engage now in a full-scale confrontation.

Euronews spoke to some Israelis at Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate to see what they thought.

One man said: “I feel that Hamas should definitely be taken down as much as possible. They are a terrorist group and they want our destruction. At the same time, there are a lot of sensitivities here, and we don’t want to harm any Arab citizens, we don’t want to give the Arab population in general more reason to hate us”.

Another added:“All the Arabs need to suffer because of what they did, like they do to the Jews. One Arab dies everyone suffers, I think it should be the same thing after they kill three Jews, three kids, they came and killed them without any mercy.”

There are fears that a heavy-handed response from Israel will result in a third Palestinian intifada.

Euronews’ correspondent in Jerusalem said: “The reticence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to launch a massive attack against Hamas in Gaza is seen as a sign of weakness by parts of Israeli society. They say being cautious won’t stop the missiles and rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel”

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