- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 7, 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached out to the United States for help with the public relations battle that’s accompanying the trade of rocket fire with Hamas, and asked lawmakers to counter claims that the Jewish nation is committing war crimes when bombing Gaza.

Mr. Netanyahu said his military has gone to “extraordinary measures” to try and avoid killing civilians in the monthlong trade of fire with the terrorist group Hamas, the New York Post reported. But Hamas and supporters of the terror organization have similarly gone to great lengths to showcase to the world the innocent civilians, including women and children, who have been killed by Israeli fire.

Israeli authorities, meanwhile, and Western intelligence both claim that Hamas is purposely firing rockets from civilian sectors and storing weapons in the likes of schools and medical facilities in order to put civilians in the line of fire — and win the sympathy of the world.

Mr. Netanyahu met with a delegation of U.S. lawmakers, including Rep. Steve Israel, to discuss some of the recent combat operations and to ask for assistance in staying out of the International Criminal Court, the New York Post reported. His request came as several Palestinian leaders met with ICC officials to speak about joining the international body.

“The prime minister asked us to work together to ensure that this strategy of going to the ICC does not succeed,” Mr. Israel said in a telephone interview with the New York Post from Tel Aviv. “[Netanyahu] wants the U.S. to use all the tools that we have at our disposal to, number one, make sure the world knows that war crimes were not committed by Israel — they were committed by Hamas. And that Israel should not be held to a double standard.”

Mr. Israel added, the New York Post reported: “It’s Hamas that embedded its rockets in hospitals and in homes. And now there are some in the international community who want to investigate the Israelis for the war crime of simply defending themselves.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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