Prime Minister Ehud Olmert clarified Monday that Hamas was responsible for everything taking place in the Gaza Strip.
Speaking at the weekly Kadima faction meeting, the prime minister said that "as far as we are concerned, it is irrelevant whether Hamas members are involved in every single incident. What matters is that they bear responsibility and they will be responsible for the results of every activity taking place there."
According to Olmert, "We continue to impose sanctions which could harm the population's needs in a controlled manner, so as not to create a humanitarian crisis, but definitely in order to make it clear that the routine life is not being hurt on one side only."
The prime minister noted that his government was dealing with the security crisis in southern Israel on several levels.
"The fighting activity taking place every day causes significant damage to the terrorists. Quite a lot of money is being invested in completing the development of the active defense, also known as the 'Iron Dome'.
"Our plan is to use these methods to curb short-range rocket attacks, which also include the Qassams which will be fired at Israel in the future on all fronts, both in the north and in the south. The latter entails an immediate investment in fortifying apartments, with NIS 50 million (about $14 million) already transferred. We will eventually work to provide an appropriate response to all the residents of Sderot and the Gaza vicinity communities."
The prime minister noted that there were issues the government was dealing with in an intensive manner even though they were not making headlines.
"Perhaps because they seem less sexy. One of them is the treatment of children at risk. The government has begun implementing the report of a public committee appointed by us to examine the issue. In the State of Israel there are more than 700,000 children living under the poverty line, and other 300,000 children living at risk. These are dramatic figures," he said.