Hamas rejected an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with Israel on Tuesday, moments after the Israeli Cabinet accepted the plan, throwing into disarray international efforts to end a week of fighting that has killed 192 Palestinians and exposed millions of Israelis to Hamas rocket fire.
A senior Israeli government official warned that Israel would strike Gaza even harder if Hamas does not accept the truce.
Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against targets in Gaza in the past week and amassed troops on the border of the coastal strip, but has so far refrained from a ground offensive that could quickly drive up the casualty count on both sides.
The Egyptian cease-fire offer, which was presented late Monday, called for a halt of hostilities as of Tuesday morning, followed by negotiations on easing the closure of Gaza's borders — a closure that has been enforced by both Israel and Egypt to varying degrees since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.
In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Egyptian proposal was "not acceptable."
"It's not logical to ask people who are under aggression to cease fire and then later to negotiate terms that were not respected in the past by the Israelis," a Hamas official said, referring to the 2012 truce.