"We are going to continue hitting Hamas hard and we will continue to strike hard at the missiles targeted at Central and Southern Israel," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Friday.Netanyahu met with President Shimon Peres in light of the recent escalation in the South."We cannot abandon women and children to the madness of Hamas which continues to fire at civilians without reason," Peres said."Israel will continue to do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties," the prime minister assured.Peres and Netanyahu have both spoken to world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, who all agreed the operation is a justified one."Those who preach to us about morality should offer an alternative way to stop the rocket fire from Hamas. No country would agree for its children to live in that intolerable situation," Peres said."Hamas deliberately targets our children, and they deliberately place their rockets next to their children," Netanyahu said.