Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has outlined a condition for a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Speaking during a visit to the Ramon Air Force base in southern Israel on Sunday, Netanyahu stated that Israel would not agree to any ceasefire without the return of hostages.
He emphasized that this message was directed at both Israel’s allies and adversaries, making it clear that the return of captives is a non-negotiable demand. In his statement, Netanyahu said, “There will be no ceasefire without the return of the captives. The very idea of doing that has to be removed from the conversation. We are saying this to both our enemies and our friends. We will continue the battle until we have defeated them. We have no alternative. I think today everyone understands that.”
This condition for a ceasefire comes as the conflict in Gaza has seen a significant loss of life and intensified international efforts to find a resolution. The health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip has reported a grim toll, with at least 9,770 people killed in the Palestinian territory since the war began last month. Among the casualties, at least 4,800 children have lost their lives. The conflict was triggered by Hamas militants’ attacks in southern Israel on October 7, resulting in Israeli retaliation.
The situation remains a matter of grave concern, and efforts to achieve a ceasefire and address the humanitarian crisis continue on multiple fronts.