Israel says it will not negotiate under fire as it continues to bombard Gaza in response to rockets from Hamas militants, and Palestinian delegates at the Gaza truce talks in Cairo say they will walk away from negotiations on a long-term cease-fire if Israelis fail to show Sunday.
Palestinian officials said they have been expecting an Israeli delegation to return to Cairo Sunday for talks with Egyptian negotiators, but Israeli officials say they will not join the talks as long as the attacks continue.
Both sides exchanged attacks Saturday, a day after a 72-hour-long cease-fire expired and with no progress in Cairo toward a longer term truce. The Israeli army says Hamas fired 100 rockets at Israel since the truce ended, and that Israel targeted what it calls "120 terror sites and nine operatives."
The Israeli military charged that Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip violated the 72-hour cease-fire hours before it was scheduled to expire on Friday morning.
An Israeli government spokesman said Hamas fighters have been indiscriminately targeting civilians.
“Hamas has indiscriminately targeted men, women and children. And in so doing, Hamas has not only shown its total disregard for Israeli life, but has shown it has no qualms whatsoever about once again endangering and bringing tragedy upon the civilian population of Gaza,” said Regev.
Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed in the fighting. Most of the Israeli casualties occurred during a ground invasion by Israeli troops to destroy Hamas' cross-border tunnels.
More than 1,900 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed.
Hamas says it will not stop fighting until Israel lifts its seven-year blockade of Gaza. Israel says it will end the blockade only after Gaza is de-militarized, a condition Hamas rejects.
Hamas denied firing rockets first. It said Israel failed to meet its demands at cease-fire talks in Cairo, namely the lifting of a crippling blockade on Gaza and construction of a seaport. Hamas spokesman Hussam Badran says now the group is playing by different rules.
Badran says Hamas is negotiating with a finger on the trigger, and will not raise the white flag.
Israel has categorically rejected Hamas’s demand for a seaport, saying it will not allow Gaza to be flooded with weapons. Israeli officials also say they will not negotiate under fire.
The Israeli blockade of Gaza has choked the Gazan economy and kept Palestinians from traveling.
U.S. President Barack Obama says Gaza cannot sustain itself and is not capable of providing jobs and economic growth. He says the territory cannot remain permanently closed off from the world.
Robert Berger contributed reporting from Jerusalem.