JERUSALEM – The Latest on the Israel-Palestinian conflict (all times local):
Israel's prime minister says he is prepared to take further military action in the Gaza Strip, but only as a last resort.
Benjamin Netanyahu made his comments Thursday as Egyptian mediators were trying to broker an expanded cease-fire between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers following a new round of fighting.
Netanyahu visited troops sent to the Gaza border this week after a two-day outbreak of fighting.
"If we need a broader operation, we will enter it strong and confident, and after we have exhausted all other options," he said.
Israel carried out retaliatory airstrikes against Hamas after a rocket fired from Gaza destroyed a house north of Tel Aviv and wounded seven Israelis. Palestinian militants responded with rocket barrages in some of the most intense fighting since a 2014 w
Egyptian mediators are heading to Israel to discuss a potential cease-fire plan with Hamas to end hostilities in the Gaza Strip that began earlier this week.
Three Hamas officials familiar with the negotiations said Thursday that the Egyptians offered Hamas a series of measures to ease the Egyptian-Israeli blockade on Gaza. In exchange, Hamas would have to pledge to halt rocket fire and keep protests along the Israeli border under control.
The officials say the deal would only take effect after a planned mass demonstration along the Israeli border. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were ongoing. One of the officials described the atmosphere as positive.
Another official said the Egyptians were discussing the proposal with Israel on Thursday afternoon.
There was no immediate Israeli comment.