Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has released a video statement regarding negotiations for the release of hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Here's his speech in full:

"I want to address the biased media reports that damage the negotiations for the release of hostages and cause unnecessary suffering to their families who are experiencing a nightmare. I stand with them with all my heart. Contrary to these reports, it is Hamas that prevents the release of our abducted citizens. We are making every possible effort to release the hostages. This is our top priority. Israel has expressed readiness and is still ready to enter into a ceasefire to release our abducted citizens. This is what we did when we released 124 hostages and resumed hostilities, and this is what we are ready to do today. Over the past few weeks, we have been working around the clock to reach an agreement that will bring back the hostages. And again, contrary to reports, the negotiating team has been given the broadest powers to advance the issue of releasing hostages. We did this out of a sense of duty to the abducted and to end the terrible suffering of their families. Throughout the negotiation process, Israel has demonstrated a willingness to go far. A willingness that Secretary of State Blinken and others have called 'extremely generous'. But while Israel has demonstrated this willingness, Hamas has remained entrenched in its positions, the main one being the demand to withdraw all our forces from the Strip, end the war, and leave Hamas alone. The State of Israel cannot agree to 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 communities, in the cities of the south, in all parts of the country. In this case, the next October 7 will only be a matter of time. Hamas will be able to fulfill its promise and commit mass murders, rapes, and abductions again and again. Did our heroes fall for this? Did we pay an unbearably high price for this? The answer is no! Submitting to Hamas demands would be a terrible defeat for the State of Israel. This will be a huge victory for Hamas, Iran, and the entire axis of evil. It will demonstrate terrible weakness to both our friends and enemies. And this weakness will only bring the next war closer and further away from the next peace agreement. Because alliances are made not with the weak and the defeated, but with the strong and the victorious. Therefore, Israel will not agree to Hamas’s demands, which mean surrender, and will continue the fighting until all its goals are achieved."