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Netanyahu says Gaza ceasefire 'not on agenda': report

AFP , Thursday 10 Jul 2014
Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)
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A ceasefire with Hamas militants in Gaza is "not even on the agenda," Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu told a parliamentary committee Thursday, an Israeli newspaper reported.

"I am not talking to anybody about a ceasefire right now," the website of Haaretz newspaper quoted Netanyahu as telling the Knesset's foreign affairs and defence committee.

"It's not even on the agenda."

Israel has been pounding targets in the Gaza Strip for three days, since beginning an offensive named Operation Protective Edge in response to Hamas rocket fire.

Since the beginning of the flare-up, at least 80 Palestinians have been killed.

No Israelis have been killed.

Netanyahu said he would not heed calls from hardline rightwing members of his government to cut electricity to Gaza, which Israel supplies.

"We can't do what the Russians did to the Chechens," Haaretz quoted him as saying.

"Gaza is on a knife edge. The deteriorating situation is leading to a downward spiral which could quickly get beyond anyone's control," UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned ahead of an emergency meeting of the Security Council at 1400 GMT.

"The risk of violence expanding further still is real. Gaza, and the region as a whole, cannot afford another full-blown war," he said.

Ban spoke with Netanyahu, urging him to exercise maximum restraint, although he described the Gaza rocket attacks as "unacceptable and must stop".

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