Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met on Sunday evening, as he does every week, with a group of families of hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza. Among the participants in the meeting was Yelena Trupanob from Kibbutz Nir Oz, who was released from Hamas captivity last Wednesday, and whose son Sasha is still being held in Gaza.

Gallant listened to the families and answered their questions. The minister emphasized his commitment to the return of the hostages, and explained to the families how Hamas violated the agreed upon outline for the return of all women and children.

"For the past two months, I have been preoccupied only with achieving the goals of the war, chief among them: The dismantling of the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and the hostages. There is a close connection between the two goals. Every day is important for us, so when the military activity progresses - the pressure on Hamas increases and so does the chance of returning more hostages," said Gallant.

"If we were to agree to discuss additional groups of hostages before Hamas completed its commitment to return all women and children, it would mean giving up on those who have not yet returned. A resumption of the fighting will lead to further progress in the return of hostages. On behalf of the entire defense establishment, I tell you that we are doing everything we can with full commitment," he added.

"In all military activity, the considerations of the hostages are taken into account. We are working in all ways, covert and overt, to free the hostages. Only if we continue to fight with all our strength - more options will open up to us," he concluded.