Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday morning said that the ground operation was "inevitable".
Speaking at the beginning of the cabinet meeting in what appeared to be an address prepared in advance, Olmert said that it is inconceivable that in a "responsible and determined country, the home front will be a target for attacks" without its "powerful, daring and skilled army protecting it."
Olmert also directly addressed the "parents and families of IDF soldiers and security forces in action in the Gaza Strip."
"I have dedicated much thought to you since the operation began, and more so since the decision on the ground operation," he said.
"On this morning, I can look each and every one of you in the eye and say that the government did everything possible before it decided on the ground operation," added Olmert.