Israel rejects Gaza ceasefire, as ground troops free one hostage

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu categorically ruled out a ceasefire in Israel's war against Hamas Monday, as ground forces pushed into Gaza and freed one hostage.

"Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism," Netanyahu said, slapping aside demands from UN agencies for a truce.

"This will not happen," the premier told foreign media, vowing Israel would "fight until this battle is won".

Israel declared war on Palestinian militant group Hamas after it launched an unprecedented wave of attacks inside Israel on October 7, killing more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking more than 230 people hostage.

Israel has since carried out a huge aerial bombing campaign against Hamas-ruled Gaza, while inside the territory, a long-expected ground war was underway.

The military has released images of Israeli mechanized infantry grinding through the coastal sands of northern Gaza, while witnesses on Monday reported tanks on the outskirts of Gaza City.

Israel said it hit 600 targets in 24 hours, one of the most intense periods of bombing to date, and that a missing woman soldier was rescued from Hamas inside Gaza.

The release of Private Ori Megidish was "secured during a ground operation" inside Gaza the army said, adding she was in Israel, reunited with family and was "doing well".

Netanyahu has vowed the war will "eliminate" Hamas, ensuring no possible repeat of the group's attacks.

Israel has also promised to free the hostages taken by Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups on October 7.

Israel's campaign has flattened thousands of buildings and Gaza's 2.4 million residents are under near continuous bombardment, with little access to water, food,...

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