NBC News: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again rejected the idea of a cease-fire in Gaza unless hostages are released, and also addressed Gaza’s future after the war in an exclusive interview with ABC News “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir.
President Joe Biden and top administration officials have been pressuring Israel for temporary “humanitarian” pauses in the fighting so more aid can enter Gaza and more civilians can escape the fighting in the Palestinian enclave.
Biden and Netanyahu discussed the matter as recently as Monday, according to the White House, though no apparent agreement was reached. National security council spokesperson John Kirby said the administration considered the parties to be at the “beginning of this conversation.”
“What they’re proposing is a humanitarian pause, there will be no pause?” Muir pressed Netanyahu, shortly after he had spoken with Biden.
“Well, there’ll be no cease-fire, general cease-fire, in Gaza without the release of our hostages,” Netanyahu responded. “As far as tactical little pauses, an hour here, an hour there. We’ve had them before, I suppose, will check the circumstances in order to enable goods, humanitarian goods to come in, or our hostages, individual hostages to leave. But I don’t think there’s going to be a general cease-fire.”
Netanyahu continued, “I think it will hamper the war effort. It’ll hamper our effort to get our hostages out because the only thing that works on these criminals in Hamas is the military pressure that we’re exerting.”
Muir then asked Netanyahu if there would be such a pause if Hamas to agree to the release of hostages. According to Israeli officials, 241 people are being held by the militant group.
“There will be a cease-fire for that purpose,” Netanyahu responded.
In Israel, more than 1,400 people have died and 6,900 have been injured, the prime minister’s office has said.
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