Speaking Monday to the press, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flatly rejected calls for a ceasefire:
Netanyahu: "Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen …. The Bible says that there is a time for peace and a time for war. This is a time for war. A war for our common future.
"Today we draw a line between the forces of civilization and the forces of barbarism. It is a time for everyone to decide where they stand. Israel will stand against the forces of barbarism until victory. I hope and pray that civilized nations everywhere will back this fight."
Earlier this month, Israeli government officials showed images of dead children and civilians to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and NATO defense ministers. Hamas continues to put Palestinian civilians – its own Gaza people – in harm's way in pursuit of military objectives, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says.
Gen. Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) said on Washington Watch Friday that if these practices are not addressed, they will become commonplace.
"What Hamas is doing violates every law of land warfare that there is. For example, you can't make that hospital part of your war-fighting mechanism. Going back to when this thing started and the fact that they mutilated bodies, they did all kinds of things that are against the law of land warfare.
"Why am I saying this? Because this is going to be over one day, and there's got to be a reckoning … because if we allow that kind of behavior without any penalties whatsoever, you're going to see the same thing again – and it's going to become more popular next time," Boykin told show host Jody Hice.
Israel has begun some ground operations in Gaza aimed at specific threats that might endanger IDF forces when the larger-scale incursion is under way. The bombing of Gaza continued over the weekend, targeting Hamas tunnels and other infrastructure, according to the IDF.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Saturday said Israel has "moved into a new phase in the war. We attacked above the ground and under the operation will continue until further notice."
Using photographs, diagrams and audio recordings to support its claims, the IDF said on Friday that Hamas is using Gaza's main hospital, Al Shifa, as a shield for its headquarters. Other hospitals are getting the same treatment.
"Hamas has turned hospitals into command-and-control centers and hideouts for Hamas terrorists and commanders," IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said.
Hamas has denied the claims.
Boykin: The messaging is important
Financial and military assistance are important, but Boykin said the U.S. right now needs to show support for Israel from North America, not just from the Middle East.
"We need to let them know that we are not going to abandon them. That has always been a real concern. We may have some suggestions [for Israel], but that doesn't mean that we [threaten to] stop all aid, all support, if you don't do what we are asking you to do," he said.
The messaging is important, and what's coming from demonstrations at many college campuses and public spaces these days has a negative impact not only to Jews in America but in the nation of Israel itself, Boykin argued.
"When we as college deans and college presidents allow people who are the next generation in this nation – [a generation] that's going to allegedly take us to the next level – if we don't hold them accountable for this nonsense that we see going on here, I think that we're failing to support Israel the way we should," he stated.
"Right now, they [Israel] need all the support they can get. They need encouragement, and we are the ones that can do that. We can lead the rest of the world – but we're not doing that right now," Boykin added.