Palestinian negotiators have warned they will leave Cairo on Sunday unless Israel agrees to return to Egyptian-mediated negotiations to end the fighting in Gaza without setting conditions.
“We told the Egyptians that if the Israelis are not coming and if there is no significant development, we are leaving today,” Palestinian negotiator Bassam Salhi told the Associated Press.
Israel has said it will not take part in truce talks while violence is ongoing.
“Israel will not negotiate under fire,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in broadcast remarks at the weekly meeting of his cabinet, in Tel Aviv.
“The operation will continue until its objective – the restoration of quiet over a protraced period – is achieved. I said at the beginning and throughout the operation – it will take time, and stamina is required.”
Reporting from West Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Nisreen El-Shamayleh said that Netanyahu has come under a lot of pressure internationally and domestically.
“Internally, people are frustrated especially those who live in the south who had evacuated their homes along the border with Gaza for a month and then were told to return home during the ceasefire only to find out fighting has resumed, she said.
“He is also under pressure from the international community to return to Cairo for talks.”
Netanyahu’s comments came as Israeli air strikes killed at least four people in Gaza.
Palestinians factions refused to extend a 72-hour ceasefire that expired on Friday, saying Israel had refused to accept demands including an end to the blockade of Gaza and the opening of a seaport.
Israel launched more than 30 air attacks in Gaza on Saturday, killing nine Palestinians, and Palestinian fighters fired rockets at Israel as the conflict entered a second month, defying international efforts to revive a ceasefire.
Medical officials in Gaza said two Palestinians were killed when their motorcycle was bombed and the bodies of three others were found beneath the rubble of one of three bombed mosques.
Two Palestinians were killed in an air strike on a car in the southern town of Rafah, Gaza medics said. A 13-year-old girl and a man were killed in other air assaults, hospital officials said.
An Israeli military statement said four of the Palestinians targeted on Saturday were Hamas fighters.
Citing security concerns over continued rocket fire, Israeli police banned an anti-war protest planned for Tel Aviv on Saturday, saying regulations prohibited large gatherings in areas at risk of attack.
However, about 150 demonstrators defied the ban and gathered at the protest, police said.
Heavy civilian casualties and destruction during Israel’s campaign in packed residential areas of the Gaza Strip have raised international alarm over the past month.
Gaza officials say the war has killed 1,917 Palestinians, most of them civilians. Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have died in the fighting that started on July 8.
The White House has urged Israel and the Palestinians to do what they can to preserve civilians after having failed to extend their ceasefire, while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that any further fighting would “exacerbate the already appalling humanitarian situation in Gaza”. Al Jazeera