Israel is inching toward using military force against Hamas in the Gaza Strip because Egyptian cease-fire efforts there are not "ripening," Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said. Olmert, who was wrapping up a US visit dominated by discussions on the dangers of a nuclear Iran, said Israel was not eager to carry out a military operation in the Hamas-controlled territory but would not be deterred if the threat continued.  "As it looks now it's closer to a military operation than to another arrangement," he told reporters. The reason is because Egyptian peace efforts "are not ripening in a way that can bring a cease-fire," he added.