Israel Netanyahu Gaza
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint news conference with Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Tel Aviv. Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Hamas is a world problem just like Isis and Boko Haram and "must be ostracized from the family of nations for its callous abuse of civilians".

In his first press conference since the 72-hour ceasefire began, Netanyahu said that the goal of Israel's 'Operation Protective Edge' was solely to protect Israeli citizens from rockets and infiltration.

"It's important to understand what kind of condition our forces were facing in Gaza," Netanyahu said as he displayed a video of Hamas firing rockets, allegedly from civilian areas. "That is an example again of the use of civilians [by Hamas].

"Now that the members of the press are leaving Gaza and are no longer subject to Hamas retribution, I expect [more examples] of terrorists hiding behind civilian targets," he said.

He continued to condemn Hamas' strategy of "child sacrifice" and "human shields". Citing a report, he said that 160 children had been killed while building infiltration tunnels into Israel.

"Israel deeply regrets every civilian casualty," he said. "We do not target them ... The tragedy of Gaza is that it is ruled by Hamas. They want civilian casualties, they use them as PR fodder.

"Indeed, Hamas has adopted a strategy that uses and sacrifices Gaza's civilians. They fire rockets from schools, mosques, urban neighborhoods, right next to schools, right next to where journalists are staying."

He then asked other world leaders: "Imagine your territory was infiltrated by death squads. What would you do?"

The Israeli leader also thanked the US for its support of the country's right to defend itself and additional funding from US Congress for the Iron Dome defence system.

In what could be an insight into the future of Gaza, Netanyahu concluded by revealing that the Israeli government was cooperating with Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority and said they were "prepared to see a role for them in Gaza."

The press conference came as talks between Israeli and Palestinian representatives took place in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

According to Palestinian officials, 1,875 people have been killed in the Israeli operation, of which 85% are civilians, according to UN estimates. The Israeli military has confirmed the deaths of 64 IDF soldiers and three civilians.