Middle East

Netanyahu: Gaza cease-fire 'not on agenda'

A Palestinian man reacts over the rubble of his house which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip July 10, 2014.(REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: A cease-fire with Hamas militants in Gaza is "not even on the agenda," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a parliamentary committee Thursday, an Israeli newspaper reported.

"I am not talking to anybody about a cease-fire right now," the website of Haaretz newspaper quoted Netanyahu as telling the Knesset's foreign affairs and defense committee. "It's not even on the agenda."

Israel has been pounding targets in the Gaza Strip for three days, since beginning an offensive named Operation Protective Edge in response to Hamas rocket fire.

Since the beginning of the flare-up, at least 80 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds of rockets have been fired into Israel.

No Israelis have been killed.

Netanyahu said he would not heed calls from hard-line right-wing members of his government to cut electricity to Gaza, which Israel supplies.

"We can't do what the Russians did to the Chechens," Haaretz quoted him as saying.

The meeting was held at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, rather than its usual location in the parliament building in occupied Jerusalem.

Rockets fired from Gaza since the flare-up began Tuesday have reached major cities including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.





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