A cease-fire would be possible only if all 239 hostages held by militants in Gaza are released, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address.

The Israeli leader also insisted that after the war, now entering its sixth week, Gaza would be demilitarized and Israel would retain security control there. Asked what he meant by security control, Netanyahu said Israeli forces must be able to enter Gaza freely to hunt down militants.

He also rejected the idea that the Palestinian Authority, which currently administers autonomous areas in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, would at some stage control Gaza. Both positions run counter to post-war scenarios floated by Israel’s closest ally, the United States. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the U.S. opposes an Israeli reoccupation of Gaza and envisions a unified Palestinian government in both Gaza and the West Bank at some stage as a step toward Palestinian statehood.

For now, Netanyahu said, “the war against (Hamas) is advancing with full force, and it has one goal, to win. There is no alternative to victory.”

Fighting intensifies around Gaza’s largest hospital

Pressure was growing on Israel after frantic doctors at Gaza’s largest hospital said the last generator had run out of fuel, causing the death of a premature baby, another child in an incubator and four other patients. Thousands of war-wounded, medical staff and displaced civilians were caught in the fighting.

In recent days, fighting near Shifa and other hospitals in northern Gaza has intensified and supplies have run out. The Israeli military has alleged, without providing evidence, that Hamas has established command posts in and underneath hospitals, using civilians as human shields. Medical staff at Shifa have denied such claims and accused Israel of harming civilians with indiscriminate attacks.

“There is no electricity. Medical devices stopped. Patients, especially those in intensive care, started to die,” said Mohammed Abu Selmia, the director of Shifa, speaking by phone over the sound of gunfire and explosions.

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