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Israel's Prime Minister Says Gaza Operation to Continue

RIA Novosti

23:48 02/08/2014

MOSCOW, August 2 (RIA Novosti) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that the operation in Gaza is due to continue in line with Israel's security needs even after Hamas tunnels are destroyed, the BBC has reported.

Netanyahu said the militant group is to pay an 'intolerable price' for attacks on Israel.

This statement comes just as hopes for negotiations on a truce going ahead in Egypt faded.

Israel's authorities are not planning to send a delegation to Egypt's Cairo to negotiate on the truce with the Gaza Strip, Haaretz reported on Saturday, citing a military source.

A military official also said that Israel will consider the ceasefire only after a containment system against attacks from the Gaza Strip will be implemented.

Earlier on Saturday, Agence France-Presse reported that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Sisi called Cairo's peace plan a real chance to put an end to the military conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Last month, Cairo proposed a peace initiative, calling for a ceasefire followed by talks between Israel and Hamas. Tel Aviv accepted the draft deal but after long discussions Hamas rejected it.

Hostilities resumed in the Gaza Strip on Friday, hours after the US/UN-backed ceasefire supposed to last three days was announced.

The Israeli Army resumed the operation following the attacks by two Hamas militants, who killed two Israeli officers and perhaps took the third captive. Palestinian doctors reported 185 casualties, calling the past 24 hours the bloodiest over the four weeks of operation.

Operation Protective Edge was launched by Israel on July 8 to put an end to rocket fire from Gaza. On July 17, the Israeli Army switched to a ground assault largely aimed at locating and destroying rocket launchers and underground tunnels.

Nearly 1,655 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 65 Israelis have been killed since the offensive began, according to the BBC.

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