Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rejected Hamas' demands for a prisoner swap, which include a cessation of the fighting.
"We are continuing the war on all fronts and in all sectors. We are not giving immunity to any terrorist: Not in Gaza, not in Lebanon, not in Syria and not anywhere. Whoever tries to harm us, we will harm him," Netanyahu promised.
"Regarding our hostages, we have returned home – as of today – 110 of our hostages and we are obligated to returning all of them. This is one of the goals of the war and the military pressure is a necessary condition to achieving it.
"I am working on this around the clock. But let it be clear: I utterly reject the Hamas monsters' capitulation terms."
He explained, "Hamas is demanding, in exchange for the release of our hostages, the end of the war, the withdrawal of our forces from Gaza, the release of the murders and rapists of the Nukhba, and leaving Hamas in place."
"Were we to agree to this – our soldiers would have fallen in vain. Were we to agree to this – we would not be able to ensure the security of our citizens. We would be unable to safely restore the evacuees to their homes and the next October 7 would be only a question of time. I am not prepared to accept such a mortal blow to the security of Israel; therefore, we will not agree to this."
Netanyahu emphasized, "The conditions being proposed by Hamas underscore a simple point – there is no substitute for victory. Only total victory will ensure the elimination of Hamas and the return of all our hostages."
"I told President Biden this in our conversation over the weekend. I greatly appreciate the US support for Israel and I also expressed this to the President. However, I will strongly insist on our vital interests. I emphasized to President Biden our determination to achieve all of the goals of the war, and to ensure that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to Israel.
"Therefore, I insist that after we achieve total victory, after we eliminate Hamas, there will no entity in Gaza that finances terrorism, educates for terrorism or sends terrorists.
"Gaza must be demilitarized, under Israel's full security control," he stressed. "I will not compromise on full Israeli security control of all territory west of the Jordan River."
"As Prime Minister of Israel, I have strongly upheld this position in the face of great international and domestic pressure.
"My insistence is what has prevented – over the years – the establishment of a Palestinian state that would have constituted an existential danger to Israel. As long as I am Prime Minister, I will continue to strongly insist on this. If someone has a different position, they should show leadership and candidly state their position to the citizens of Israel."