"The IDF has dealt Hamas a severe blow, but unfortunately the job has not been completed," Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday while visiting inured soldiers and civilians at Beersheba's Soroka University Medical Center.
"Hamas still controls Gaza and will continue to smuggle improved rockets through the Philadelphi route (along the border with Egypt)," he said. "We cannot show any weakness in the face of the Iranian-backed Hamas terror and must act with an iron fist to defeat the enemy."
A unilateral Israeli ceasefire began before dawn Sunday. Hamas also announced it would halt fighting from its side for one week while demanding that Israeli troops leave the territory.
Netanyahu praised the residents of Israel's rocket-plagued southern region for their resilience, saying "we have a very strong nation and army."
The mother of injured soldier Or Malka said to the Likud leader, "We are proud of the IDF and are not afraid.
"I only hope that (kidnapped soldier) Gilad Shalit is returned and that all of the soldiers come home in peace," Pnina Malka said.
Or's brother Yochai told Netanyahu that he believed the war in Gaza has "unified the nation.
"We must understand that we have no other homeland," he said.
AP contributed to the report