Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel is preparing for “the possibility of significantly widening the ground operation” into Gaza if necessary.
He did not say what form a widened operation might take.
So far Israel has said its forces have focused on seeking out tunnels Palestinian militants might use for cross-border raids.
Speaking ahead of a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, he also described the Israel Defence Forces as a “moral army, which doesn’t aim to hurt even one innocent person”.
“We are operating only against terror targets. We regret any accidental harming of civilians. Those who are responsible for harming the innocent are the terror organisations, which are attacking our cities and civilians, and are using their own civilians as human shields,” Netanyahu added.
Netanyahu said that Israel had agreed to Egypt’s truce proposal and also to a brief UN-brokered humanitarian ceasefire – but in both cases, he said: “Hamas continued to fire”.