Hamas said Israel's ground offensive into the Gaza Strip that started on Thursday would have "dreadful consequences".

"It does not scare the Hamas leaders or the Palestinian people," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Thursday night. "We warn Netanyahu [Prime Minister Binyamin] of the dreadful consequences of such a foolish act."  

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Hamas said in the statement that it would continue to reject any initiative for a ceasefire as long as its conditions are not met.     

Abu Zuhri added that Israel may think that its operation is limited, but it is mistaken. 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a statement on Thursday night after 10:00 saying that the security cabinet approved the ground operation in Gaza after Israel agreed to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal on Tuesday, which Hamas rejected.

In addition, the statement said, Hamas even fired rockets during Thursday's five-hour humanitarian cease-fire.

“In light of Hamas' continuous criminal aggression, and the dangerous infiltration into Israeli territory, Israel is obligated to act in defense of its citizens,” the statement said.

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