Netanyahu says Hamas refusing to let Red Cross visit hostages

Still taking questions at his press conference, Prime Minister Netanyahu is asked about displaced Israelis returning to their homes. “People will go back [to their homes] when they have a sense of security. And they’ll have that sense when there is security… It’ll take some time.”

Netanyahu is asked about what a reporter says is a widely held “conspiracy theory,” believed by many in Likud, that lots of people in the security services were aware in advance of the planned October 7 Hamas onslaught and some were even complicit.

He replies: “There was no conspiracy. There are questions that will have to answered — what happened, how did it happen — and that will be discussed at the end of the war. Not now. There was certainly no conspiracy.”

In response to a further question, he says the truce deal provided for the Red Cross to visit all the hostages, but Hamas is refusing to allow this.

Asked about the absence of women from the war cabinet, he says key decisions are approved by the full cabinet, which has many women ministers.

Asked about the killing by an IDF soldier of a civilian who thwarted Friday’s deadly terror attack in Israel, he acknowledges that more guns in the hands of the public can produce more such tragic incidents. But more civilians with guns can save the day in times like this, he says, defending his government’s policy on encouraging more eligible Israelis to carry weapons. “We may pay a price, but such is life,” he says.

He says he will “certainly” meet later this week with the families of hostages who have been returned.

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