Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem January 11, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
JERUSALEM, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Monday stressed that she sees no reason or need to negotiate with Hamas, saying that the group's words were "meaningless."
"I am not going to negotiate with Hamas and don't need them to sign anything for me. What they said is meaningless," Israel's Army Radio quoted her as saying as her government was negotiating with Egypt for an end to the 17-day-old onslaught in Gaza Strip.
Smoke rises during Israel's offensive in the northern Gaza Strip in the late afternoon January 11, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
Noting that "the war on terror will be long and difficult" and demands no other alternatives than the use of military force, she added that additional military operations in Gaza could be staged should "Hamas dare raise its head and strike Israel again."
"This is what is called deterrence: they know that the next time they attack us, they will be harmed," said the top Israeli diplomat, who has been leading Israel's public relations efforts to brand the Gaza offensive, which has killed over 900 and wounded over 3,100 in the Palestinian enclave, as the Jewish state's self-defense.
Israel lists Hamas as a terrorist group, and has urged the international community not to conduct direct talks with the Islamist group. Previous ceasefire deals between Israel and Hamas were brokered by Egypt.
As international pressure mounts up for an early truce, Israel has started talks with Egyptian officials over a possible Gaza ceasefire deal, which was cosponsored by France and commended by the United States, Israel's staunch ally.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army on Sunday began deploying reservist troops to Gaza Strip, triggering speculations that the Jewish state might expand the current offensive, possibly by sending tens of thousands of reservists into Gaza, to further tighten the rope around Hamas' neck.
GAZA, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Seven Palestinians were killed and 10wounded on Monday as Israeli army continued its air and ground offensive in Gaza Strip for the 17th day, medics and witnesses said. Full story
JERUSALEM, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Rocket attacks from Gaza Strip against southern Israel have notably decreased as the Israeli offensive in the Hamas-ruled enclave enters the 17th day on Monday. Full story