Israel has offered to extend the 3-day ceasefire as PM Netanyahu has justified the civilian deaths in Gaza.
Israel has offered to extend the three-day ceasefire as PM Netanyahu calls the Gaza civilian deaths 'justified'.Reuters

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended the heavy bombardment of the Gaza Strip, blaming all the civilians deaths to Hamas as his government offered to extend the three-day truce beyond its Friday deadline.

An Israel official, quoted by Reuters said: "Israel has expressed its readiness to extend the truce under its current terms," referring to the 3-day cease-fire currently underway, which was brokered by Egypt and took effect on Tuesday.

But Hamas deputy leader Musa Mohammed Abu Marzouk, who is among the Palestinian delegation currently holding talks in Cairo, denied on Wednesday night that there was any agreement on the extension of truce.

"There is no agreement to extend the ceasefire," he said in a tweet.

"Any news about the extension of the truce is unfounded," added Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, Aljazeera reports.

This comes after Netanyahu, earlier on Wednesday, defended his country's military actions during the four-week-long assault, which included heavy shelling on UN Schools sheltering displaced civilians. He blamed Hamas for all the fatalities in Gaza.

"Israel deeply regrets every civilian casualties. The people of Gaza are not our enemy, our enemy is Hamas", he said in a news conference in West Jerusalem.

"Every civilian casualty is a tragedy, a tragedy of Hamas' own making," he said adding that the intense bombardment was a necessary response to Hamas attacks.

"It was justified. It was proportionate."

The prime minister also said, "Hamas is using tactics adopted by other terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group".

His comments came as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a UN meeting in New York that the deaths in Gaza "have shocked and shamed the world".

The chief of the United Nations also called for an immediate investigation into bombing of UN facility in Gaza.

"Attacks against UN premises, along with other suspected breaches of international law, must be swiftly investigated," he said.

The UN chief was speaking in a special meeting of the UN General Assembly convened at the request of Arab countries, where the UN called on all parties in the Middle East to find a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict in Gaza.

"The senseless cycle of suffering in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in Israel must end," Ban Ki-moon told the 193-nation assembly.

"We will build again but this must be the last time to rebuild. This must stop now."