In an interview with ABC News, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu rejected any idea of declaring a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip before the Islamist terrorist group Hamas released the hostages held since October 7, when it launched the attack that sparked this war.

“There will be no ceasefire, no general ceasefire in Gaza, without the release of the hostages,” he said, on the same day that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres renewed his call for an end to “the humanitarian nightmare in Gaza” that has turned into a “children’s cemetery”.

Netanyahu went on to reveal that Israel had a plan in place to assume full control of the Gaza Strip once Hamas was defeated on the ground, effectively divulging the strategic goal of Israel in the Middle East the start of which was a regime change in the sliver of land.

The Israeli prime minister emphasized, among other things, that his country would assume “total responsibility for security” in the Gaza Strip indefinitely after the war ended against the Palestinian Islamist group.

“When we don’t have responsibility for security, we see a rise in Hamas terrorism on a scale we could not have imagined,” he noted.

On the issue of the possibility of opening a humanitarian corridor, Netanyahu said: “I suppose we will look at the conditions to allow goods – humanitarian goods – to come in or our hostages to leave. But I don’t think there will be a general truce,” Prime Minister Netanyahu repeated.

“That would hinder our efforts to get the hostages out, because the only thing that works when it comes to these criminals, to Hamas, is the military pressure we put on it.”

Israel unleashed a bombing raid against Hamas in Gaza, after the Islamist group killed 1,400 people on October 7, before launching a ground campaign to eliminate the Islamist militants.

However, it has been harshly criticized for using disproportionate force and bombing indiscriminately leading to thousands of civilian casualties.