Hostages’ families heckle Netanyahu as he warns Israel ‘expanding’ Gaza fight

Hostages’ families heckle Netanyahu as he warns Israel ‘expanding’ Gaza fight

The Guardian reports:

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said the offensive in Gaza “isn’t close to finished”, as he faces heavy domestic pressure to reach a deal to bring home the more than 100 Israeli hostages thought to remain in captivity in Gaza.

“We are expanding the fight in the coming days and this will be a long battle,” Netanyahu said after visiting Gaza on Monday, according to a statement from his Likud party.

As he vowed to continue the war during a speech in parliament, relatives of the hostages interrupted him and called for their immediate return. “Now! Now!” they shouted.

Families who have been awaiting their loved ones’ return after 80 days in captivity booed the prime minister, as Netanyahu said Israeli forces needed “more time” to increase military pressure on Hamas, which he argued would help to secure the captives’ release.

Later, protesters gathered near the defence ministry headquarters in central Tel Aviv before a war cabinet meeting, holding posters demanding “Free our hostages now – at any cost!”

On Monday, the opposition leader, Yair Lapid, said Israel needed to “bring the hostages home now”, adding: “We are not doing enough.” His comments were met with applause from the families of hostages. [Continue reading…]

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