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Netanyahu says Gaza ceasefire 'will not happen'

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that a ceasefire in the Gaza war "will not happen" as it would amount to surrendering to the territory's Islamist rulers Hamas.

Netanyahu also told a press conference that other countries must give more help in the struggle to free more than 230 hostages kidnapped by Hamas in its October 7 attacks.

The Israeli leader said the international community must demand the captives "be freed immediately, unconditionally."

He said among the captives were 33 children and Hamas was "terrorizing them, keeping them as hostages."

"Just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of October 7," he said at a press conference with foreign journalists.

"Calls for a ceasefire are a call for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. This will not happen."

Vowing that Israel would "fight until this battle is won," Netanyahu said the army was going out of its way to "prevent civilian casualties" in Gaza.

The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says at least 8,306 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Israeli air and artillery strikes since the war erupted on October 7 after Hamas's deadly attack on southern Israel killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians. — Agence France-Presse