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Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the negotiations for a hostage deal, blamed Hamas intransigence for lack of deal and said surrendering to its demands would invite repeats of October 7.

Indeed, the leaders of Israel have both a right and an obligation to defend their people from further suffering and slaughter. The fact is they are defending all of us. We must stand up against terrorism and savagery. We must be certain to send a strong and clear message to Iran, its terror proxies and all of the jihadists around the world. They must know that perpetration of the unfathomable atrocities like those witnessed on 10/7 - including burning families alive, putting babies in ovens, cutting off body parts and brutal rapes and kidnappings - will not yield a reward - but will result in their termination.

Pictured: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

STOP IRAN NOW - May 5, 2024

After the May 5 cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the negotiations for a deal to secure the release of the hostages held by the Iran sponsored terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza and accused the media of harming the efforts to free the hostages.

"I would like to refer to trending publications in the media, publications that cause damage to the negotiations for the release of the hostages, and also to unnecessary suffering for the families of the hostages who are going through a nightmare," Netanyahu began.

"Contrary to these publications, it is Hamas that is thwarting the release of our hostages.

We are working in every possible way to release the hostages. This is at the forefront of our minds. Israel was and still is ready to make a truce in the fighting to secure the release of our hostages. This is what we did when we released 124 hostages, and returned to fight - and we are ready to do it today as well," he said.

Netanyahu added, "in recent weeks we have been working around the clock to forge an agreement that will return the hostages. And again, completely contrary to the publications, in order to achieve this goal, we gave the negotiating team a very broad mandate to promote their release. We did this out of our deep obligation to the hostages and the abducted, and to put an end to the terrible suffering of their families."

"Throughout the negotiations, Israel demonstrated a willingness to go a long way. A long way that was described by the American Secretary of State Blinken and others as 'extremely generous,'" he said.

Netanyahu noted, "But while Israel has shown this willingness, Hamas remains entrenched in its extreme positions, primarily the demand to withdraw all our forces from the Strip, end the war, and leave Hamas intact.

"The State of Israel cannot accept this. We are not ready to accept a situation in which the Hamas battalions come out of their bunkers, take control of Gaza again, rebuild their military infrastructure, and return to threatening the citizens of Israel in the surrounding settlements, in the cities of the south, in all parts of the country," he said.

"If this happens," Netanyahu continued, "the next October 7 is only a matter of time. Hamas will be able to fulfill its promise to carry out the massacres, the rapes, and the kidnappings again and again and again."

"Is this why our heroes and heroines fell? Did we pay unbearably heavy prices for this? The answer is - no! Surrendering to the demands of Hamas would be a terrible defeat for the State of Israel. It will be a huge victory for Hamas, for Iran, for the entire axis of evil. It will project a terrible weakness - both to our friends and to our enemy," Netanyahu declared.

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