Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed in a public speech he delivered on Friday to continue the Israeli war on Gaza and justified killing Palestinian citizens.
He said that Israel is not likely to accept a ceasefire before eradicating Hamas and other Palestinian fighters from Gaza and said that the Israeli army is ready for a ground operation.
On the fourth day of the war, which Israel calls Operation Protective Edge, Netanyahu said that the Israeli army attacked "over 1,000 terrorist targets." He also said: "We will continue until we are sure that Israel's residents have quiet."
Justifying targeting civilians, he said that "no terrorist target was off-limits." He accused Hamas' leaders and fighters of "hiding behind Gaza's residents." Thus, Hamas is responsible "for any harm that comes to them [the civilians]."
"Israel does its utmost not to harm Gaza's civilians while targeting the terrorists, whereas Hamas targets Israel's civilians," he said. However, it is very clear that most of the Israeli targets in the Gaza Strip in the five days of the war were civilians.
On Saturday morning an Israeli fighter jet targeted Mabarat Felasteen, a charity for disabled children in the north of the Gaza Strip. Two children were killed and three others wounded.
Meanwhile Palestinians have continued retaliatory launches of their homemade rockets on Israeli settlements and cities. While delivering his speech, Netanyahu heard a rocket alarm and escaped.
Earlier in Netanyahu's speech, Israeli Chief of Staff General Bani Gantz said that his army is ready for a ground operation in Gaza, but he is waiting for a political decision.
Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv reported the American ambassador to Tel-Aviv saying that his country "does not object to a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, but prefers cessation of escalation." He stressed that the US "fully supports Israel's right to defend its citizens."