Jerusalem (AP) - Israel's foreign minister says that working toward a cease fire with Hamas is a "grave mistake" and that his country should try to topple the militant Gaza rulers instead.
Avigdor Lieberman's remarks come as international mediators try to halt new fighting between Israel and Hamas that escalated dramatically last week to the most intense confrontation between the two since Israel's war in the Palestinian territory in late December 2008.
After a lull overnight, Lieberman told Israel Radio on Monday that Hamas exploits calm to build its fighting force and smuggle in weapons to use against Israel.
The military says Palestinians have fired more than 130 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel since Thursday. Israeli reprisals have killed 19 Palestinians.