"There is no agreement and there are no direct or indirect talks," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday, referring to reports of understandings reached between Israel and Hamas on a ceasefire in Gaza.
"The IDF enjoys complete freedom of action, we have not dictated any ceasefire," Olmert stressed, adding that to the best of his knowledge, "Egypt has no mandate to try and reach a truce agreement with Hamas."
Olmert and Topolánek in Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)
Speaking at a press conference following his meeting with Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek in Jerusalem, Olmert said that the IDF was not looking for excuses to strike in Gaza. "We fight because they fight against us," he stated.
The prime minister vowed that "if terror stops, if Qassams cease to land in Sderot and Grad rockets in Ashkelon, and the incessant arms smuggling and infiltrations end – Israel would hold its fire."
Referring to the possibility of a resumption of peace negotiations with Damascus, Olmert said: "W want peace with Syria. They are well aware of our stance and what is required (in order to achieve peace), and we are also well aware of what is required."
"I hope that the Syrians can abide by these requirements in order for real peace talks to materialize," he added.