Photo Credit: GPO / YouTube screengrab
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told hostage families on Monday that Gaza civilians will not be allowed to return to the northern part of the enclave as long as Israeli hostages are being held captive.

Gallant, who met with the families of soldiers being held hostage and answered their questions, emphasized his personal commitment to returning all of the hostages.


The defense minister reiterated that the fighting against Hamas will not end as long as there are still hostages held in Gaza.

Gallant discussed the various efforts undertaken to return the hostages.

“We are working around the clock to achieve a framework that will allow the return of hostages,” he said.

“As part of the talks, we are working to maintain pressure on Hamas. The defense establishment’s position will be clear: the full return of civilians to the northern area of the Gaza Strip will only take place following the return of all the hostages.”

Gallant, who meets weekly with the hostages’ families, repeated that Israel has “no moral right to stop the fighting as long as we have even a single hostage in Gaza.”

The minister said his position “has not and will not change” regardless of whether a temporary ceasefire agreement is reached in the negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States.

“Even if we achieve a framework that requires a temporary ceasefire, we will then return to fighting, in order to destroy the Hamas terrorist organization and to return all the hostages,” he pledged.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.