By Mick Krever, CNN
An Israeli ground operation into Gaza “might become necessary,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told CNN’s Michael Holmes, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Tuesday.
On the same day, Hamas Foreign Policy Spokesman Osama Hamdan vowed that Palestinians would defend themselves against any “attacks.”
“If the Israelis continue their attacks, the Palestinian people will defend themselves. Not only Hamas – all the Palestinians,” Hamdan told Holmes.
“If Israel stops and there was a clear ceasefire, the Palestinians will deal with that. Without this, there is no chance for the Palestinians to live under the Israeli attack without acting against that attack.”
Steinitz, of course, echoed this point from the Israeli side, citing the rockets militants fire from Gaza into Israel.
“There is some crazy people on both sides, but the symmetry you are trying to depict is totally wrong,” Steinitz told Holmes.
Tensions between Israel and Hamas have been rising through tit-for-tat violence ever since three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered, and a Palestinian teen burned alive, allegedly as retaliation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blames Hamas for killing the three teens.
“No one has to prove or disprove what Netanyahu has said. Netanyahu is the one who is the sole responsible for proving what he has claimed. Hamas said clearly that we don’t have any information about what had happened.”
Holmes asked Hamdan repeatedly whether Hamas nonetheless approved of the kidnapping and murder of the teens.
“I am saying it clearly – we don’t have any information about what had happened there,” Hamdan said.