Israel's Prime Minister has insisted his country is not "eager for war" with Palestinian militants, but said his government would do what it takes to safeguard citizens' "safety and security".
In a statement this evening, Benjamin Netanyahu said: "Israel is not eager for war, but the security of our citizens is our primary consideration."
Israel claims Hamas is responsible for a number of rocket attacks targeting civilians in Israeli cities.
He laid the blame for any violence at Hamas' door, saying: "Israel targets Hamas terrorists and not innocent civilians. By contrast, Hamas targets Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians."
"Hamas, therefore, bears full responsibility for any harm that comes to Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike."