Photo Credit: Moshe Shai/FLASH90
Paratroopers training at Kibbutz Revivim. June 12, 2023.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement Sunday night explaining why he rejected the terms offered by Hamas for the return of the remaining 136 Israelis still held hostage in Gaza.

Netanyahu said that he is “working around the clock” for the return of the remaining Israeli hostages held in Gaza, but that he “utterly rejects” what he described as Hamas’ “capitulation terms.”


Hamas is demanding, in exchange for the release of the hostages, the end of the war, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the release of terrorists and that it be allowed to remain in power in Gaza.

“Were we to agree to this,” said Netanyahu, “our soldiers would have fallen in vain. Were we to agree to this – we would not be able to ensure the security of our citizens. We would be unable to safely restore the evacuees to their homes and the next October 7 would be only a question of time. I am not prepared to accept such a mortal blow to the security of Israel; therefore, we will not agree to this.”

“Only total victory will ensure the elimination of Hamas and the return of all our hostages,” declared Netanyahu. “Therefore, I insist that after we achieve total victory, after we eliminate Hamas, there will no entity in Gaza that finances terrorism, educates for terrorism or sends terrorists.”

Netanyahu laid out what he expects after the fighting ends: Gaza must be demilitarized and under Israel’s full security control. Israel must have full security control of all territory west of the Jordan River.


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