The IDF has no intention of harming any innocent Palestinians, but in the process of self-defense there are occasionally victims, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Netanyahu, speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, said Israel’s efforts to find the three kidnapped teenagers means there will inevitably be “friction” with the Palestinian civilian population.
Netanyahu said that the IDF was focusing on bringing safely home Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah, as well as finding those who kidnapped them and “harming the organization to which they belong.”
The prime minister reiterated that Israel has unequivocal evidence that Hamas was behind the abductions.
“We are passing that evidence and information along to certain states, and soon it will be made public,” he said. Netanyahu said that once the public has this information, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ condemnation in Saudi Arabia of the kidnappings will be “judged practically.”
“His words will not only be judged in terms of actions taken to bring the boys home, but also by his willingness to break up the unity government with Hamas, which kidnapped the youth and calls for Israel's destruction,” he said.
The prime minister said he promised the kidnapped boys parents at their meeting on Friday that everything is and will be done to bring the boys home, and that the IDF was in the midst of a continuing and focused operation.