Netanyahu Rejects Ceasefire, Says Israel Will Control Gaza Security Long-Term
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu firmly rejected a full ceasefire in the Gaza conflict unless all Israeli hostages are first released by Hamas According to ABC news.
He also stated Israel will maintain long-term security control over Gaza.
Netanyahu’s comments come as the Biden administration urges temporary humanitarian truces to pause the fighting and allow aid into Gaza. But Israel remains focused on subduing Hamas militarily before considering ceasefire terms.
No General Ceasefire Without Hostage Release
US-proposed “humanitarian pause,” Netanyahu unambiguously ruled out any general ceasefire absent the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
Israel insists its ongoing strikes are vital military pressure to secure the hostage release and degrade Hamas’ capabilities. Netanyahu believes a ceasefire now would only benefit Hamas by interrupting Israel’s campaign.
Open to Limited Truces for Aid
While refusing a comprehensive ceasefire, Netanyahu did not dismiss the possibility of limited, temporary halts in fighting to allow humanitarian supplies into Gaza or hostages to exit.
But he emphasized Israel will only entertain brief, localized pauses that do not interfere with the overarching military campaign against Hamas.
Over 10,000 Killed in Gaza, Biden Urges Restraint
The month-long conflict has killed over 10,000 Palestinians, including thousands of civilians. With the death toll mounting, President Biden has pressed Netanyahu to exercise restraint and minimize further loss of life in Gaza.
But Israel maintains its operations are targeted at Hamas militants and aims to prevent civilian casualties. Netanyahu has rejected calls to end strikes before achieving the military’s core objectives.
Netanyahu Envisions Open-Ended Israeli Security Role in Gaza
Looking beyond the current conflict, Netanyahu asserted Israel will maintain an open-ended security presence in Gaza to prevent further Hamas aggression.
He indicated Palestinians who reject Hamas could govern Gaza under Israeli security oversight. But the shape of long-term control remains uncertain.
The US said it agrees Hamas cannot retain power but no decisions have been made yet regarding future governance.
Walking Fine Line Between Allies
The Biden administration continues attempting to balance support for Israel’s right to self-defense with nudging it toward de-escalation to reduce civilian deaths in Gaza.
This dual messaging acknowledges Israel’s security priorities while recognizing the urgency of relieving Gazan suffering and working towards sustainable calm.
But Netanyahu’s unwavering stance makes clear that Israel intends to subdue Hamas decisively before contemplating wider ceasefire terms or Gaza’s future.
No Clear End in Sight for Violence
Despite growing calls for a ceasefire, neither Israeli strikes nor Hamas rocket barrages show signs of letting up.
Israel is determined to degrade Hamas’ military capabilities through force. Meanwhile, Hamas hopes to gain leverage by sustaining its bombardment of Israeli cities.
This impasse suggests the hostilities could drag on until international pressure overwhelms one or both sides’ resolve.