Who is Benjamin Netanyahu, how old is the Israeli prime minister, who's his wife and does he have children?

PRIME Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue with a series of airstrikes on Palestine as the latest bloody conflict intensifies.

But who is he and what exactly has he said? Here's all you need to know.

Who is Benjamin Netanyahu?

Netanyahu, 68, became the first Israeli Prime Minister to be born in the country since its founding in 1948 when he was first elected in 1996.

And at just 36, he was also the youngest person to lead the Middle Eastern nation.

He was born in Tel Aviv in 1949 to his Israeli-born mother Tzila Segal and Polish father Professor Benzion Netanyahu.

Because of his father’s academic career, Benjamin lived in the Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, USA, for six years over two separate stints.

But after graduating high school in America in 1967, the future leader returned to his homeland and joined the military.

As part of the Israeli Defence Force he served for five years as an elite special forces fighter taking part in raids during the bloody War of Attrition from 1967 until 1970.

He then returned to the US to study degrees in architecture and political science at MIT Sloan School of Management and Harvard in Massachusetts.

After finishing top of his class at MIT, he was headhunted by Boston Consulting Group where he worked from 1976 until 1978.

Netanyahu speaks fluent English and is known to have an American-twang to his accent.

He has been married three times and has three children.

The world leader wed his current wife Sara Ben-Artzi in 1991.

He was previously married to Miriam Weizmann from 1972-1978 and Fleur Cates, 1981-1984.

When did he become Israel's prime minister?

He returned to Israel in the 1980s and started a career in politics joining the right wing Likud party.

During the 1991 Gulf War, the English-speaking Netanyahu became the widely recognised spokesman for Israel – appearing on numerous international news channels.

After his profile was raised, Netanyahu became the leader of the Likud party in 1993.

He was elected the Prime Minister of Israel in 1996.

His first tenure in office was dominated by US-brokered peace talks with Palestine, which was led by Yasser Arafat.

Netanyahu helped introduce free market economics to Israel while also easing the country’s strict foreign exchange protocols enabling Israelis to open foreign bank accounts and invest abroad.

After losing the 1999 election in the face of a marriage scandal and corruption accusations, he temporarily retired from politics.

Netanyahu returned to frontline politics as the Likud Finance Minister before wrestling back control of the party and serving as leader of the opposition from 2005.

He became Prime Minister of Israel once again in 2009.

What has Benjamin Netanyahu said on the Israel-Palestine conflict?

This week Netanyahu said that military operations in Gaza will continue with “full force”

The Israeli PM’s warning came after 42 Palestinians are reported to have died following an overnight airstrike that crushed three buildings. 

Mr Netanyahu said in a televised speech: “Our campaign against the terrorist organisations is continuing with full force.

“We are acting now, for as long as necessary, to restore calm and quiet to you, Israel's citizens. It will take time.”

Netanyahu confirmed the targeted attack on Hamas was a success and reminded the group and its supporters of Israel’s supreme stamina and firepower. 

"We eliminated senior Hamas commanders and this is just the beginning," he said.

"We will inflict blows on them that they couldn't even dream of."

Netanyahu has vowed to expand the offensive, saying "this will take time".

But, in a televised address last night, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said: "If Israel wants to escalate, we are ready for it."

Netanyahu declared a state of emergency in the Jewish-Arab Israeli city of Lod on Tuesday night.

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