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Israel PM rejects Gaza ceasefire as 'surrender to Hamas'

JERUSALEM, unidentified — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday a ceasefire in Israel's war against Hamas "will not happen", as the UN warned not enough aid was coming in to meet "unprecedented humanitarian needs".

Israeli ground forces fought inside the Gaza Strip and air strikes pounded the besieged Hamas-run Palestinian territory in response to the October 7 attacks -- the deadliest in Israel's history.

The intensifying military operations have sharply heightened fears for the 2.4 million inhabitants of Gaza, where the Hamas-controlled health ministry says more than 8,300 have been killed.

In a briefing to foreign press, Netanyahu said a ceasefire would amount to surrendering to Hamas, whose gunmen killed 1,400 people and took more than 230 hostages, according to the latest Israeli figures.

"Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism... this will not happen," he said, vowing Israel would "fight until this battle is won".

Israel ally the United States also objected to a ceasefire.

"We do not believe that a ceasefire is the right answer right now," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, adding that "pauses" to get aid into Gaza should be considered instead.

As Israeli forces battled Hamas militants inside the narrow Palestinian territory and sent tanks to the outskirts of Gaza City, concern has surged about the widening humanitarian crisis.

Kirby said Washington was "confident" of increasing the number of aid trucks to Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt to around 100 a day.

Limited aid has entered Gaza from Egypt under a US-brokered deal, but its volume has fallen far short of the hundreds of trucks a day aid agencies say are needed.

Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA, called for the Security Council to demand an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

"The system in place to allow aid into Gaza is geared to fail unless there is political will to make the flow of supplies meaningful, matching the unprecedented humanitarian needs," he said.

The Israeli Prime Minister's office said late Monday that food and medicines entering Gaza are "controlled and