In an urgent letter to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the head of the UN Security council, Israeli UN Ambassador Gabriela Shaleb on Saturday night defended Israel's decision to embark on a military operation in the Gaza Strip in order to put an end to rocket attacks on the South. "Israel is taking the necessary military action in order to protect its citizens from ongoing terrorist attacks originating from the Gaza Strip and carried out by Hamas and other terrorist organizations," Shalev said, adding that Hamas "holds the sole responsibility for the latest events." Israel, she continued, "has exhausted all means and efforts to reach and maintain quiet and to respect the state of calmâ€¦ Israel's response is aimed solely against the terrorists and their infrastructures in the Gaza Strip. It is not intended against the civilian population. Israel is committed to prevent a humanitarian crisis." Shalev asserted that "No country would allow continuous rocketing of its civilian population without taking the necessary actions to stop it."