Israel Rules Out Ceasefire Until Palestine Islamic Jihad Stops Firing Rockets

Hopes of a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas faded on Saturday as Tel Aviv said the Palestinian militants should cease launching rockets into the Jewish state before talks can start.

The development comes after Palestinian Prime Minister requested the United Nations to intervene in the conflict and get Israel to stop air raids in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

"We're not holding ceasefire talks," National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said, according to Reuters.

Hamas rocket attack
Hamas rockets fired from Gaza Strip landing on Tel Aviv Twitter

At least 33 Palestinians have been killed in the current conflict, while two Israelis also died in rocket attacks.

Jerusalem Targeted by Palestine Islamic Jihad

On Friday, the Palestinian militants launched rockets into Jerusalem, which was the first time in the latest conflict the city was targeted. "The launching towards Jerusalem is a message, and everyone should understand its purpose. Jerusalem is in front of our eyes, and what is happening there is not separate from Gaza," the al Quds Brigades of the Islamic Jihad said after the rocket attacks.

The Islamic Jihad has reiterated that it will continue with the rocket attacks, even as the current round of hostilities enters the fifth day. "The resistance prepared itself for months of confrontation," the PIJ said. The Islamic Jihad has said it has fired more than 1,000 rockets into Israel.

Meanwhile, Israel has continued the bombing of sensitive targets including rocket launch pads and Hamas safe houses in Gaza and the West Bank.

Rocket Fire from Gaza
Rocket Fire from Gaza Wikimedia Commons

The JPost reported that Israel's Iron Dome has successfully intercepted 340 rockets that were heading for populated areas. According to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, the military will go ahead with defensive and offensive plans under the Operation Shield and Arrow.

6 Jihad Commanders Killed

"We attained very high achievements in the campaign, starting from the opening blows onwards, and the achievements intensify and accumulate. The continuation of the shooting of the Islamic Jihad allows us to deepen the achievements," the General said.

Israel Defense Forces Iron Dome
Israel Defense Forces Iron Dome intercepts rockets from Gaza strip - File photo Wikimedia Commons

"We are prepared to continue the targeted killings and attacks in a precise and increasing manner, as we have done in recent days. The achievements are made possible thanks to the resilience and adherence to the guidelines by the residents of the State of Israel in general, and by the residents of the south in particular," Halevi added, according to the JPost.

Israeli offensive has so far killed at six top commanders of Islamic Jihad.