Letting our people go, Netanyahu promises to raise pressure on Hamas by citing the Passover story.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the nation on the eve of Passover on Sunday, mourning lost hostages and vowing pressure on Hamas.

Letting our people go, Netanyahu promises to raise pressure on Hamas by citing the Passover story.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, promised during his speech on Sunday ahead of Passover to step up pressure on Hamas in Gaza.

As Israel gets ready to observe the Jewish holiday this week, Netanyahu spoke to the entire nation in Hebrew. He lamented the release of the last detainees from Gaza and contended that the only way the remnants of Hamas can survive is if Israel and its allies break apart.

"On this night, 133 of our dear brothers and sisters are not around the Seder table, and they are still held hostage by Hamas in hellish conditions," Netanyahu said. "We have already freed 124 of our hostages and we are committed to returning them all home – the living and the deceased alike."

"Instead of withdrawing from its extreme positions, Hamas is counting on a rift among us. It draws encouragement from the pressure being directed at the Government of Israel. As a result of this, it has only hardened its conditions for the release of our hostages. It is hardening its heart and refusing to let our people go," he said. Netanyahu's language referenced the Egyptian pharoah's biblical refusal to free the enslaved Israelites, a story Jewish people all over the world will retell during holiday meals.

Netanyahu went on to praise the men and women serving in the Israel Defense Forces, detailing that operations in Gaza would soon ramp up. 

"Therefore, we will strike it with additional painful blows – and this will happen soon," he said. "In the coming days, we will increase the military and diplomatic pressure on Hamas because this is the only way to free our hostages and achieve our victory."

"Citizens of Israel, on the eve of Passover, when the people of Israel went forth from slavery to freedom, let us remember our fallen heroes, and our wounded fighters, thanks to whose sacrifice, we are free people," he added.

Netanyahu's announcement came less than a day after he thanked U.S. lawmakers in the House of Representatives for passing a bill granting $26 billion in military aid for Israel on Saturday.

"The US Congress just overwhelmingly passed a much appreciated aid bill that demonstrates strong bipartisan support for Israel and defends Western civilization. Thank you friends, thank you America!" he wrote.