December 30, 2008 / 6:06 AM / 11 years ago

Israel rejects truce; ready to fight for "weeks"

JERUSALEM, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Israel on Tuesday rejected any truce with Hamas in the Gaza Strip before the threat of rocket fire from the coastal territory has been removed, and said it was ready to fight the Islamists for "weeks."

"There is no room for a ceasefire," Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit told Israel Radio as Israel’s aerial offensive on Gaza entered a fourth day, with 345 Palestinians killed and four Israelis killed by rockets fired from Gaza.

"The government is determined to remove the threat of (rocket) fire on the south," he said. "Therefore the Israeli army must not stop the operation before breaking the will of Palestinians, of Hams, to continue to fire at Israel."

"That’s the goal and it must be achieved," he added.

Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai said the military "has made preparations for some long weeks of action."

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