Netanyahu and Gantz welcome release of first 13 hostages, vow to secure release of remaining ones

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

File - War cabinet Minister Benny Gantz (standing), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center), and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, at a press conference at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, November 22, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
File - War cabinet Minister Benny Gantz (standing), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center), and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, at a press conference at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, November 22, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

In his first statement following the release of the first 13 Israeli hostages, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, “We have now completed the return of the first of our hostage — Children, their mothers and other women. Each and every one of them is an entire world.”

“But I stress to you, the families of the hostages, and to you, the citizens of Israel: We are committed to the return of all our abductees,” Netanyahu adds. “This is one of the goals of the war and we are committed to achieving all goals of the war.”

Fellow war cabinet minister Benny Gantz releases a statement declaring that “the entire State of Israel is in a state of mixed emotions – joy, pain, sadness, and determination,” as only a small percentage of hostages were released this evening.

He calls the fight to free remaining hostages a “moral imperative” and pledges to continue the fight in Gaza until all are released.

Most Popular