Israel rejects ceasefire unless hostages freed after Blinken meeting


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said there will be no temporary ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza until all Israeli hostages are released.

He gave a televised address after talks with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who’s called for humanitarian pauses in the fighting to help protect civilians.

Meanwhile, Israel’s army said earlier it was on “very, very high alert” at its border with Lebanon as the leader of Islamist group Hezbollah broke his silence on the war.

In a speech watched by thousands at a Beirut rally, Hassan Nasrallah praised the Hamas attacks on Israel on 7 October, but said they were “100% Palestinian”.

Hezbollah – which is backed by Iran and considered a terrorist group in the UK and US – has been intensifying attacks on northern Israel from Lebanon.

Israel has warned of “unimaginable” consequences if Hezbollah joins the Israel-Gaza war.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says more than 9,000 people have been killed in the Strip since 7 October.

Israel began bombing Gaza after Hamas killed more than 1,400 people in Israel and kidnapped more than 200 others.__Courtesy