Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came down heavily on international human rights organisations, women's groups and the UN for failing to speak out about the rapes and other atrocities committed by Hamas against Israeli women.
Taking to his official X handle, the Israeli PM posted, "I say to the women's rights organizations, to the human rights organizations: You've heard of the rape of Israeli women, horrible atrocities, sexual mutilation - where the hell are you?"
"I expect all civilized leaders, governments, nations, to speak up against this atrocity," he added.
He made the remarks at a press conference in Tel Aviv alongside Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz. Netanyahu said he met the released hostages and the relatives of those still held hostage earlier, a meeting described as hostile and stormy by those present, The Times of Israel reported.
"I heard heartbreaking stories of abuse," he said, adding, "I heard, as you have heard, about sexual abuse and unprecedented cases of cruel rape."
But, he said, he did not hear women's groups and human rights groups "scream" about this.
"Were you silent because it was Jewish women?" Netanyahu asked, according to The Times of Israel.
On Israel allowing additional humanitarian aid and fuel into Gaza, and if it reduces the country's leverage over Hamas with regard to the safe-keeping and the release of hostages, Netanyahu said "the main card" Israel has to return the hostages is the war effort and the ground operation, and the humanitarian aid supports that.
"There is no contradiction" between the war effort and the accompanying humanitarian aid, as it all combines to help regarding the hostages, he said.
Further, according to The Times of Israel, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said he told the IDF and the coordinator of activities in the territories to close off "the electricity, the water and the fuel [that Israel supplies to Gaza], and halt the entrance of workers" on October 7.
He was moving, he said, toward severing all Israeli government responsibility for Gaza.
When the ground operation began, Gallant said he knew that the pressure was the path to bring home the hostages.
The ground operation requires and enables humanitarian aid, he said, adding "minimal humanitarian aid to enable the military pressure".
On letting fuel into Gaza, Gallant says that, in return, Israel has the "right to demand" that Hamas honour its obligation to allow the Red Cross to visit the hostages or, at least, provide medicines and take care of other requirements, The Times of Israel reported. (ANI)