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  Thursday, December 12, 2019
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Israel will continue military operations in the Gaza Strip until
Israel will continue military operations in the Gaza Strip until it stops Hamas' rocket attacks, the local media quoted on Tuesday premier Ehud Olmert as saying.

Olmert, who on Monday met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, rejected the European Union's initiative for an immediate humanitarian truce for 48 hours again. The premier said diplomatic options that do not conclusively resolve the problem were unacceptable.

"We cannot accept a compromise that will allow [Islamist group] Hamas to shell Israeli towns in two months. The results of the operation must be that Hamas must not only stop firing but must no longer be able to fire," he said.

At Monday's meeting with Sarkozy, Israeli President Shimon Peres set three conditions for a truce.

"Israel should receive guarantees that rocket launches, rocket smuggling into the Gaza Strip and other kinds of terror stop. The fulfillment of all these demands is an indispensable condition for Israel's consent to any truce," Peres said.

The Israeli military began on Monday a new stage of its ground operation in Gaza, working to clear the Palestinian region of insurgents and terrorist infrastructure.

So far, 548 Palestinians have been killed and at least 2,500 injured in the Israeli assault, which became a ground offensive on Saturday after a week of airstrikes. Five Israeli soldiers have been killed and at least four civilians died as a result of Palestinian rockets fired in response to the Israeli bombing.

Israel's controversial bombing campaign destroyed more than 750 facilities in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, which according to Israel were connected to terrorist activities. Tel Aviv said they had launched the strikes in an "all-out war" to prevent rockets attacks on Israeli border towns from Gaza.

Palestinian militants have launched some 500 rockets on Israel in response to the aerial bombing.


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