The Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert threatened ‘painful’ measures against the democratically-elected Hamas government of the Palestinian people, and refused the latest attempt at a ceasefire by Hamas.

‘We are not talking to Hamas and we are not going to compromise with someone that is consistently shooting rockets on the heads of Israelis’ said Olmert Thursday, ignoring the fact that Hamas has honored ceasefires in the past and completely ceased homemade shellfire across the border into Israel, even while Israeli forces violated the ceasefire.

‘We will deal with Hamas in other ways and these ways will be very painful’, continued Olmert. Olmert’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni continued, ‘I would expect that when civilians are harmed by deliberate terrorism, people won’t make a comparison between them and Palestinian civilians that are harmed during Israel’s defense operations.’

Palestinian analysts point out that what Israel is asking for is a unilateral ceasefire by Hamas, in which Hamas would cease its occasional firing of homemade shells across the Gaza-Israel border (which have resulted in 2 deaths in the last two years); while Israel would be permitted to continue its daily incursions into Gaza (which have resulted in over 500 deaths in the same period).

The Israeli government stated that they will continue negotiations with the rival Fateh party, which lost the 2006 elections to Hamas, but which Israel and the U.S. have tried to prop up as the ruler of the Palestinian people, in an attempt to undermine the democratically-elected Hamas government.