World

Israel and Hamas harden positions as talks on extending Gaza truce continue in Cairo

  • Displaced Palestinian children pass time at a U.N. school where their families had sought refuge during the war in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. The family from the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip said they are scared to move back to their house as they consider the cease-fire still fragile. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

    Displaced Palestinian children pass time at a U.N. school where their families had sought refuge during the war in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. The family from the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip said they are scared to move back to their house as they consider the cease-fire still fragile. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu points at a video screen showing Hamas militants firing rockets into Israel from areas near schools and Hamas deploying civilians as human shields, as he gives a press conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. Netanyahu defended Israel's intense bombardment of Gaza, saying that despite the high civilian death toll it was a "justified" and "proportionate" response to Hamas attacks. (AP Photo/Jim Hollander, Pool)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu points at a video screen showing Hamas militants firing rockets into Israel from areas near schools and Hamas deploying civilians as human shields, as he gives a press conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. Netanyahu defended Israel's intense bombardment of Gaza, saying that despite the high civilian death toll it was a "justified" and "proportionate" response to Hamas attacks. (AP Photo/Jim Hollander, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Avi Panzer, standing next to his wife Lucy, shows the remain of a rocket that they believe was fired by Palestinian militants to an area in Netiv Haasara, where they live near the Israel Gaza border on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. They don't know when it was fired. Avi and Lucy Panzer didn't leave Netiv Haasara, an agricultural community that sits just north of the concrete wall that separates Israel from Gaza, during a war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. With a cease-fire taking hold, residents of southern Israel slowly begin trickling back to hometowns that largely emptied out during a monthlong war against Hamas militants in the neighboring Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

    Avi Panzer, standing next to his wife Lucy, shows the remain of a rocket that they believe was fired by Palestinian militants to an area in Netiv Haasara, where they live near the Israel Gaza border on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. They don't know when it was fired. Avi and Lucy Panzer didn't leave Netiv Haasara, an agricultural community that sits just north of the concrete wall that separates Israel from Gaza, during a war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. With a cease-fire taking hold, residents of southern Israel slowly begin trickling back to hometowns that largely emptied out during a monthlong war against Hamas militants in the neighboring Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)  (The Associated Press)

An Israeli Cabinet minister says Israel will respond if Hamas resumes fire after a temporary three-day truce expires in the Gaza Strip.

The statement, along with Hamas' earlier threats, signals that both sides are digging in their positions as negotiations continue in Cairo on a lasting truce and reconstruction for the war-battered coastal territory.

Minister Gilad Erdan told Israel Radio on Thursday that if Hamas renews hostilities, the military will "resume operations."

The three-day truce, which helped launch talks in Cairo on new arrangements for blockaded Gaza, expires on Friday morning. Both sides are under heavy international pressure to agree to an extension of the cease-fire to allow more time for negotiations.

Hamas demands that a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt be lifted. Israel wants Gaza to be demilitarized.