GAZA/JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday any deal on Gaza's future at truce talks in Cairo must be contingent on Israel's security needs, cautioning Hamas against carrying out its threat of a long war if Palestinian demands are not met. With a five-day ceasefire due to expire late on Monday, negotiators were to reconvene in the Egyptian capital to seek an end to five weeks of hostilities that have killed more than 2,000 people. Both sides say gaps remain in reaching a long-term deal.
Netanyahu, in public remarks to his cabinet, said Hamas shouldn't underestimate Israel's resolve. "Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach understandings," he said. "If Hamas thinks that through continued intermittent firing it will cause us to make concessions, it is mistaken. For as long as quiet does not return, Hamas will continue to absorb very harsh strikes." On Saturday, Osama Hamdan, the head of Hamas's foreign affairs, said on Facebook: "Israel must accept the demands of the Palestinian people or face a long war."