World News

Israel "cannot accept" ceasefire with Hamas says Barak

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israel “cannot really accept” a cease-fire with Hamas, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in a U.S. television interview on Saturday, rejecting calls by the United Nations and the European Union for a truce after Israeli air strikes killed 227 people in Gaza.

“For us to be asked to have a cease-fire with Hamas is like asking you to have a cease-fire with al Qaeda. It’s something we cannot really accept,” Barak told Fox News from Tel Aviv.

Asked whether Israel would follow up the air strikes with a ground offensive, Barak said, “If boots on the ground will be needed, they will be there.”

“Our intention is to totally change the rules of the game,” he said.

Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; editing by Chris Wilson