Israeli Prime minister, Ehud Olmert, reiterated his statements against any negotiations with the fighters who are holding the Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip and said that the military offensive in the Gaza Strip “cannot be limited by a timetable”.

During a meeting with his cabinet ministers on Sunday, Olmert said that Israel will not hold negotiations with Hamas, or with any group, adding that such negotiations will “encourage more abductions”.

He also asked his cabinet minister to abstain from commenting behind the scene of the efforts to release tech captured soldier.  

Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, said that the military operations in the Gaza Strip have not achieved their objectives yet but “they require patience and restraint”.

Peretz stated that the operations would also focus on targeting areas which are used as launching pads for homemade shells,  and the tunnels used by the resistance to smuggle weapons into Gaza. He asked the ministers to “ voice almost unanimous support in army operations in Gaza”.

Also, Peretz said that he instructed the soldiers to close the Karni, Kerem Shalom, and Sofa border crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel.   

The Israeli  cabinet also discussed the statements of Israel’s Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter regarding the release of Palestinian detainees on the condition that Qassam fire is halted and the abducted soldier Gilad Shalit is released.

Dichter said on Sunday that he is opposed to any release of Palestinian detainees in exchange for the release of the abducted soldier.