Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned that if cease-fire efforts failed he would not hesitate to take further military action against Gaza.
“I prefer a diplomatic solution. I hope that we can get one, but if not, we have every right to defend ourselves,” he said during a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
The two men discussed the ongoing cease-fire efforts in Cairo, with the help of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and the backing of US President Barack Obama.
Israel has held off from sending ground forces into Gaza to give diplomacy time to work.
Westerwelle arrived in Israel Monday night after a meeting with the European Union Foreign Affairs Council, which also backed the cease-fire efforts.