Jerusalem:  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 today 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 tomorrow.

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 demilitarised.

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