According to Olmert, the IDF's operation in the Strip, launched Saturday, is "the first phase in a series of steps approved by the cabinet".
Peres said, "Israel is not fighting the Palestinian population, but the terror organization that waves the banner of continued violence and undermining stability in the area.
"There is not one person in the world that understands why Hamas continues to fire rockets on Israel. It is futile and irrational," he said.
Since the launching of operation Cast Lead Peres has spoken to several world leaders as part of Israel's PR efforts. His office said that for the most part the international community has acknowledged Israel's reasons for attacking Gaza.