GAZA/JERUSALEM - Israel said Sunday it would not return to Egyptian-mediated ceasefire talks as long as Palestinian militants in Gaza kept up cross-border rocket and mortar fire. The head of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo said earlier that it would pull out unless Israeli negotiators, who flew home from the Egyptian capital on Friday hours before a three-day ceasefire expired, came back to the talks. Israeli air strikes and shelling killed three Palestinians in Gaza on Sunday, including a boy of 14 and a woman, medics said, in a third day of renewed fighting that has jeopardized international efforts to end a more than month-old conflict.
Since the last truce expired, Palestinian rocket and mortar salvos have focused on Israeli collective farms just across the fortified border. "Israel will not negotiate under fire," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in public remarks at the weekly meeting of his cabinet in Tel Aviv. "The operation will continue until its objective - the restoration of quiet over a protracted period - is achieved...It will take time, and stamina is required."
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