"There are only two ways that you can deal with them [Palestinian militant group Hamas]," Netanyahu said while briefing a group of foreign ambassadors. "You can either conquer them, and that's always an open possibility, or you can deter them, and we are engaged right now in forceful deterrence, but I have to say we don't rule out anything," the Scroll.in quoted Netanyahu as saying.
According to Netanyahu, the violence has escalated due to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's decision to cancel the elections last month that were supposed to be conducted this weekend. The elections had been postponed in between a dispute over voting East Jerusalem and his Fatah party.
The cause of the escalated conflict is an Israeli Supreme Court hearing, which was due on May 10, about whether or not Palestinian families would be evicted from Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood near Damascus Gate that was given to Israeli settlers.
Palestinians and Left-wing Israelis have protested against the hearing, saying that the verdict could cause a domino effect for the Palestinians. The case is an extension of the 1967 Israeli conflict, which saw all of Jerusalem as its capital while the Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of its future state.
The violence had escalated on May 7, when Israeli police had fired rubber-coated bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinians worshipping in Al-Aqsa mosque, the holiest sites for Muslims. The Palestinian militant group, Hamas, had demanded the Israeli forces to be withdrawn at 10:30 pm IST from Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah.