Livni: ground incursion impossible to avoid
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni dismissed on Tuesday the possibility of an imminent halt in fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, adding that the IDF ground incursion in the Strip was impossible to avoid.
"There is no real option for a cease-fire now. This operation is unavoidable," the left-wing minister told Army Radio.
"Hamas is not close to a cease-fire in terms of its conditions," she added. "Its [Hamas's] conditions are not conditions that are accepted - not by us, not by the Egyptians, not by the Americans, not by the Palestinian Authority and I'm certain that Israel will not agree."
Palestinian media earlier on Tuesday reported on a rumored five-hour humanitarian cease-fire to take effect in the morning that apparently held no ground as rocket fire from Gaza continued to target Israel after a purported 10 a.m. start time.
Israeli officials rejected reports of the temporary halt in fighting, while the radio station reported that Israel, due to security considerations, rejected a UN request for a temporary, humanitarian halt in fighting.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri in Cairo for talks aimed at ending the 15-day-old Gaza crisis.