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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking on Face the Nation on Sunday. (Screengrab from CBS video)

Mounting Civilian Casualties an 'Image Problem' for Israel

Corporate media, Former Secretary of State Albright worry about mounting deaths posing image problem for Israel

Andrea Germanos

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was allotted time on several Sunday morning news shows during which he said his country bore no responsibility for the mounting civilians deaths in Gaza.

Netanyuahu made the comments as hopes for a continued ceasefire on Sunday between Hamas and Israeli forces failed.

On CBS' Face the Nation, Host Bob Schieffer said the some people are "worried that every time the world sees these pictures of these children being hurt and killed, that you may be losing the battle for world opinion."

Netanyahu said that though "we feel regret" upon seeing images of dead civilians, the blame for these deaths is with Hamas and that is want Hamas wants.

Netanyahu said he can only "appeal to decent people" and say that it is not Israel that wants innocent people killed but Hamas that does.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright also made an appearance on the show and said, "I am concerned about Israel. I am a great believer in the security of Israel and the moral authority of the Israelis. But I am very worried about what is going on in terms of their image."

Speaking to CNN's State of the Union "vis-a-vis world opinion," Netanyahu said, "We're not targeting civilians." He accused of Hamas of telling people to stay in areas Israel has said they would target because the group "wants to pile up dead bodies."

"Hamas is responsible for these civilian deaths," he said.

Israeli strikes have targeted a UN-run school serving as a shelter and hospitals,  and the UN has said, "There is literally no safe place for civilians" in Gaza to go to find refuge.

Neither host asked Netanyahu if this, not Hamas, might be why the Gaza death toll now stands over 1,000, mostly civilians.

UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay warned last week that Israeli strikes that killed civilians and targeted hospitals may amount to war crimes.

The UN Human Rights Council voted Wednesday to launch an independent inquiry into possible violations of international human rights law during the offensive.


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