Netanyahu: Israel to expand Gaza operation

Netanyahu: Israel to expand Gaza operation
# 15 July 2014 23:27 (UTC +04:00)

"We will continue striking Hamas until we bring the quiet back to Israeli civilians," Netanyahu said before a security cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

He said that "Hamas will pay the price for the decision to continue the escalation."

Since July 7, Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip with airstrikes with the stated aim of halting rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.

At least 194 Palestinians have been killed and 1400 injured since Israel launched its operation - dubbed "Operation Protective Edge". One Israeli has been killed by Palestinian rocket fire.

On Tuesday, Egypt proposed a ceasefire between Gaza-based resistance factions and Israel, to come into effect at 6am GMT on Tuesday.

While Israel's security cabinet accepted the proposal, deputy Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouq said his group was still mulling the initiative after having initially rejected it.

Cairo's initiative calls on Israel to cease all hostilities in the Gaza Strip, halt all ground operations and refrain from targeting civilians, according to an Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement.

It also calls on Palestinian resistance factions to cease hostilities against Israel, halt rocket fire and cross-border attacks and stop targeting civilians.

The overture further calls for reopening Gaza's closed border crossings and facilitating the movement of persons and goods in and out of the embattled coastal strip.