Israel rejected Hamas’ request for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s Army Radio reported Monday that the Olmert government received a truce offer from Hamas over the weekend, at the height of fighting in Gaza.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected the overture, apparently conveyed through intermediaries, though two members of his Cabinet said it should be considered.
Tzahi Hanegbi, the chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and an Olmert confidant, anticipated no change in Israel’s refusal to talk to an Islamist group sworn to its destruction.
“Those who favor a truce are like a man who falls off a 100-story building and, upon reaching the 10th floor, says ‘So far, so good,'” Hanegbi told Army Radio.
“Out of 23 ministers, I know of two who support this,” he said. “It just won’t happen. What has to happen is that the Cabinet makes a decision that the armed forces should go out on a campaign to bring down the Hamas regime.”