|US administration officials are reportedly urging Israel against launching a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. According to the New York Times newspaper, the Obama administration fears that an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza would result in civilian casualties, play into Hamas' hands and cause damage to Israel.
A Kol Yisrael reporter says that senior Israeli officials have said that the military operation will be intensified if Hamas does not agree to a long-term ceasefire, with the agreement of other Palestinian groups.
Israel is also demanding guarantees for a halt to attacks targeting IDF forces on the Gaza border.
Israel denied a report on a Hezbollah-affialited television station that an Israeli emissary had left for Cairo for ceasefire contacts.