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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Demands Hostage Release for Ceasefire

Jerusalem, November 9, 2023 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has firmly stated that there will be "no ceasefire" without the release of hostages held by Hamas, as the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group continues to escalate. His announcement came on Thursday, reflecting Israel's unwavering stance on the matter.

“The fighting continues, and there will be no ceasefire without the release of our hostages,” Prime Minister Netanyahu declared in a statement. He also noted that Israel is facilitating safe passage corridors for civilians from the northern Gaza Strip to its southern regions, with approximately 50,000 Gazans utilizing these corridors to escape the ongoing conflict.

“We call again upon the Gazan civilian population to evacuate to the south,” Netanyahu urged, highlighting the Israeli government's efforts to ensure the safety of non-combatant residents.

In response to these demands, Israeli President Isaac Herzog expressed skepticism about the viability of any proposals made by Hamas concerning the release of hostages. In an interview with NBC News, President Herzog stated, “Whilst there are many, many people who are third-parties or sending optimistic messages to the news reels, I’m saying outright, according to my knowledge, up to now, there is no real, substantial information that is showing any real offer of any process on the table.” He emphasized the urgency of bringing the hostages home and affirmed that both military and diplomatic efforts were being pursued to achieve this goal.

These statements coincided with an announcement from the U.S. National Security Council, with spokesperson John Kirby confirming that Israel would begin implementing daily four-hour pauses in military operations in certain areas of northern Gaza. This move aims to allow humanitarian aid to reach the affected population and reduce the risk to civilian lives.

Israel has already initiated hours-long evacuation corridors since Saturday to assist the movement of civilians from high-risk areas. On Thursday, a six-hour evacuation corridor was opened, permitting residents to flee from northern Gaza to the safer southern regions, specifically south of Wadi Gaza

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