JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel would stay away from Egyptian-mediated truce talks with Hamas as long as Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip continued.

"Israel will not negotiate under fire," Netanyahu said in broadcast remarks at the weekly meeting of his cabinet, in Tel Aviv.

"At no stage did we declare (Israel's military offensive) was over," he said. "The operation will continue until its objective - the restoration of quiet over a protracted period - is achieved. I said at the beginning and throughout the operation - it will take time, and stamina is required."

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger