Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) issued sharp criticism of US President Barack Obama Tuesday, after the White House's repeated calls for a cease-fire in Gaza.
"It's disappointing to hear the President of the United States present his request for an immediate ceasefire out of concern toward civilians in Gaza," Katz said. "What about the citizens of Israel, who have been bombarded by rockets for years and threatened with abductions? What about the IDF forces, who have paid a heavy price to complete their mission?"
Katz said that he trusts Netanyahu will make the right decisions, including "what should be done to remove the threat of terror that looms over the citizens of Israel."
The US called for Israel to "take even greater steps to ensure the protection of civilians" Monday, as well as to "to live up to their own standards related to protecting the welfare and well-being of innocent civilian bystanders."
Obama said earlier Monday that while Israel has the right to defend itself against a barrage of Hamas rockets, Washington has "serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives."
"That is why it now has to be our focus and the focus of the international community to bring about a ceasefire that ends the fighting and that can stop the deaths of innocent civilians, both in Gaza and in Israel," he said.
Approximately 550 Palestinians - mostly Hamas terrorists, according to the IDF - and 27 Israelis have died since the operation began two weeks ago. Twenty-five of them were IDF soldiers.
The IDF has provided copious evidence that Hamas has been actively prodding Gazans to become human shields. Tuesday, video emerged of Gaza terrorists making a getaway in an ambulance.