JERUSALEM, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Israel would forego U.S. economic aid rather than be pressured into prematurely advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, its finance minister said Sunday.
Mideast envoy George Mitchell has threatened the United States could freeze aid if Israel fails to advance the talks, Ynetnews.com reported.
Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israel was trying to resume negotiations with the Palestinians but would give up U.S. aid if it meant accepting unreasonable conditions.
"We don't have to use those (loan) guarantees," Steinitz said. "We are doing very well without them."
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday condemned rocket attacks by Hamas fired from Gaza into Israeli territory.
"Some 20 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel last week," Netanyahu said at the beginning of his cabinet meeting. "The government's policy is clear and any firing of rockets will be seriously retaliated."