Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has rejected calls for a temporary ceasefire in the conflict with Hamas.
Speaking during a televised address, Netanyahu said he would not agree to such a move until the hostages Hamas took during its attack on Israel on 7 October were released.
He was speaking moments after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated calls for “humanitarian pauses” in the conflict to allow for more aid into Gaza. Blinken also said such pauses could create a “better environment in which hostages can be released”.
Blinken said the details of how the pauses would work were being “ironed out” and that Israel had “legitimate questions” about how they would work.
But Netanyahu said: “Israel refuses a temporary ceasefire that does not include the return of our hostages.”
While formal ceasefires are usually longer-term arrangements that allow parties to engage in dialogue, humanitarian pauses can last as little as a few hours.