The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has given a condition for a ceasefire in war-torn Gaza.
He stated that Israel would not agree to any ceasefire activity in the Gaza war without the return of the hostages.
Netanyahu said this during a visit to the Ramon Air Force base in southern Israel, as he explained that he was delivering the message both to the country’s allies and enemies.
“I also want you to know that there is one thing that we will not do – there will be no ceasefire without the return of the captives,” Netanyahu told the pilots according to The Jerusalem Post. “The very idea of doing that has to be removed from the conversation,” he added.
“We (are saying) this to both our enemies and our friends. We will continue (the battle) until we have defeated them (our enemy). We have no alternative. I think today everyone understands that” The Jerusalem Post quoted him as saying.
The health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said Sunday that at least 9,770 people had been killed in the Palestinian territory since the war with Israel erupted last month.
The ministry said at least 4,800 children were among those killed since Israel began striking the Gaza Strip in retaliation to the October 7 attacks carried out by Hamas militants in southern Israel, which Israeli officials said killed over 1,400, most of them civilians, AFP reports.
The latest information brings the death toll on both sides to 11,187.
Also, Pope Francis said on Sunday that he “begs” in God’s name for a ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas war.
“I continue to think about the serious situation in Palestine and in Israel where many, many people have lost their lives. In God’s name, I beg you to stop; cease using weapons!” the pope said on X, formerly Twitter, via @Pontifex.
“I hope that avenues will be pursued so that an escalation of the conflict might be absolutely avoided,” Francis said, adding “Let the hostages be freed immediately. Let’s think of the children, of all the children affected by this war, as well as in Ukraine and by other conflicts: this is how their future is being killed. Let us pray that there might be the strength to say, ‘enough.’
More than 300 Americans, United States residents and their families have been evacuated from the Gaza Strip, the White House said on Sunday.
The evacuation, carried out in recent days, was the result of “pretty intensive negotiations with all sides relevant to this conflict,” White House Deputy National Security Advisor Jonathan Finer told CBS News.
Despite these efforts, the US believes there are still “a number” of Americans inside Gaza, he added.
“This is obviously a major priority and one that we’re going to continue to work out until every American who wants to leave is able to do so,” Finer said.
AFP reports that the Rafah border crossing from Gaza to Egypt opened up Wednesday after weeks of war, allowing a trickle of wounded Palestinians and people with dual nationality to leave, all desperate to escape Israel’s bombardment.