Ehud Olmert ruled out any truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli prime minister on Sunday quashed talks of a possible cease-fire with the ruling Palestinian Islamist faction in Gaza, reaffirming international demands that Hamas first unilaterally foreswear terrorism and accept the Jewish state.
“The State of Israel has no interest in negotiating with those that refuse to accept the basic principles of the Quartet,” Olmert told his Cabinet.
“This applies to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and anyone else. He who accepts the Quartet principles is a negotiating partner, but he who is not ready to accept them is no partner and our policy will not change.”
Israel stepped up deadly airstrikes against Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists last week following a surge of rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza. That prompted Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ top leader in Gaza, to offer truce talks with the Olmert government. Some members of Olmert’s Cabinet said the overture should be considered, while others said a truce would only allow Hamas to rearm and regroup.
“This war will continue,” Olmert told his Cabinet, referring to the Gaza offensive.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.