JERUSALEM, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel will abstain from the Gaza cease- fire negotiating table in Cairo as long as there is rocket fire from Gaza.
"Israel will not negotiate under fire," Netanyahu said at the beginning of his weekly cabinet meeting held at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv.
"At no stage did we declare (the Gaza offensive) was over," he said. "The operation will continue until its objective -- to restore quiet for a prolonged period -- is achieved. I said at the beginning and throughout the operation, it will take time, and stamina is required."
The negotiations in Cairo are on the brink of collapse, after Hamas rocket fire and the Israeli shelling resumed on Friday as a 72-hour truce expired. The Palestinian delegation has threatened to leave Cairo unless Israel will return to the negotiations without conditions.
Israel says it embarked on July 8 on a military offensive in Gaza in order to curb rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave.
So far, death toll in Gaza has mounted to 1,914, including 449 children and 243 women, while Israel has seen the death of 64 soldiers and three civilians.