Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will not return the bodies of five Palestinian militants killed last week in a tunnel demolition as a "free gift."

The comment implied that Israel will hold on to the bodies until Hamas militants agree to return the remains of two soldiers killed in a 2014 war, as well as two live Israeli civilians believed held in the Gaza Strip.

"We will bring our boys home, there are no free gifts," Netanyahu said Monday.

Israel announced Sunday that it was holding the remains of five militants killed last week when it destroyed a tunnel running from Gaza into Israel.

The family of one of the dead soldiers has urged the government not to return the militants' bodies.