Israel will not negotiate a ceasefire before Hamas pays a price for its attacks, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday.
“Hamas fired a bunch of rockets, and then of course they want a ceasefire, that's perfect for them, they don't have to pay a price for firing on Jerusalem and then 500 rockets,” the official said.
“There will be a ceasefire when we're ready for it,” he added.
The official would not confirm or deny a report on Channel 12 News that Israel declined an Egyptian offer to negotiate a ceasefire, nor that Egypt put forward an offer at all.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi spoke to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Ashkenazi "emphasized that Israel has the right to defend its sovereignty and will not allow attempts to hurt its citizens." He said Israel will continue to use a heavy hand against Hamas terrorists.
"Hamas chose the path of terrorism and shot over 600 rockets at civilian populations in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and the center of Israel and its south, hurting dozens of innocent people and killing three," he added.
Ashkenazi thanked Blinken for US support for Israel's right to defend itself. He also called on the international community to condemn Hamas terrorism and the rocket fire from Gaza, rather than give a prize to terrorism.