- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 27, 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he doesn’t want any civilians to be killed in the conflict with the Palestinians, but that Israel has to defend its own people.

“We’re faced with a very ruthless terrorist enemy,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “They don’t care about not only targeting our civilians but hiding behind their civilians as human shields.”

Mr. Netanyahu said he hopes the two sides will be able to reach a “sustainable quiet” as soon as possible by adopting an initiative from the Egyptians to have a cease-fire and address both safety for Israel and social and economic relief for the Palestinians.

The two are linked, he said. Gaza must be demilitarized first to ensure things sent to help the people who live there are not used for more terrorist activity.

Mohammad Shtayyeh, adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said on the CNN program that the Israelis are killing Palestinian civilians and that the aggression from Israel is unjustified.

“The most important thing for us is this aggression that Israel is taking is totally unjustified,” he said. “Israel has a hidden agenda to totally destroy Palestinian reconciliation that has been signed and has been agreed upon.”

He added that the Palestinians will send a delegation to Egypt soon to negotiate an end to the crisis, though the group will not include President Abbas.