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Netanyahu suggests need for a ceasefire with the Gaza Strip

February 17, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, after his meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, “First stop firing, then we’ll talk.” Half of Israel is under constant threat of rocket fire, “which cannot continue”, he added.

Israeli governmental officials were quoted by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth as saying that no ceasefire agreement has been reached yet. “If there is a way to meet the operation’s objectives without a ground offensive it would be preferable, otherwise – we are ready for a ground operation,” they said.

The statement comes at a time when Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon has said that the Israeli army continues to call up soldiers in order to expand the Gaza operation and prepare for a major ground attack. He pointed out that Israel sees no partner for a political settlement with Hamas.

The Jerusalem Post, meanwhile, reported that Odi Segal, an Israeli government official, travelled to Cairo on Sunday to discuss ways of stopping the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip.