|Barak: We have no choice, the time has come for us to fight|
|By Haaretz Service|
|Tags: Ehud Barak, Hamas|
Defense Minister Ehud Barak held a press conference on Saturday in which he defended Israel Defense Forces strikes that left 205 dead according to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip Saturday, saying Israel had no choice and that "the time has come to fight."
Barak said the IDF and Israel Air Force attacks had destroyed "terrorism infrastructure" and hit over 150 Hamas militants. He also said the current campaign would be widened and will continue for some time.
Barak said Israel cannot stand by while rockets strike the communities of the western Negev and "won't let terror hurt our citizens or soldiers."
Livni, speaking in English at a press conference, said Israel had no
choice but to act to "protect our citizens from attack through a military response against the terror infrastructure in Gaza."
Livni called the IDF operations an expression of Israel's "basic right to self-defense."
The Foreign Minister laid blame for the bloodshed at the feet of Hamas, saying the group "cynically abuses its own civilian population and their suffering for propaganda purposes."
Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip fired at least 54 Qassam and Grad rockets into southern Israel on Saturday after the IDF campaign began. One of the rockets directly struck a home in the town of Netivot, leaving one Israel dead and four with moderate to serious injuries.