In opposing the current deal to release Palestinian terrorists in return for innocent Israeli hostages, many point to the deal where Israel got back kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, including Yahya Sinwar, now a chief leader of Hamas. Even if that deal was miscalculated, this one is different.
Many are discussing how they are for or against the deal, which is supposed to free 50 — mainly women and children — in return for Palestinian women and children (or people who started as children) most of whom were convicted of violent crimes. I wish we could get all our hostages back now, but it is crucial to save the lives of at least these 50.
There is a huge concern that Israeli soldiers will lose actionable intelligence and that Hamas will re-arm and perhaps Sinwar will escape. We’re already hearing reports that Hamas is telling all its civilians to go back into areas where Israel is operating, which could hamper future military action.
Any time an army has momentum and its enemy is on the ropes, it’s never a good idea to stop. But to bring back hostages out of Hell, you have to make a deal with the devil.
We learn in the Talmud that “whoever saves a single life, is considered by scripture to have saved the whole world.”
This shows that freeing captives is sacrosanct. At the same time, there is a real fear that freeing criminal prisoners will only encourage more kidnapping. Here’s a big secret: evil people, who make it their mission to kill and torture, will find a way to do it.
Some of the prisoners being released were violent and we know that violent criminals will likely be violent again. How do you stop that from happening? These are tough questions with no good answers.
But you can’t answer the cry of a relative who wants their loved one back with, “Sorry, maybe at a later point” — because at a later point, they may not be alive.
Israel did not ask to be in this war or to be in this position. We do know we are dealing with terrorists we cannot trust.
The ceasefire is a clear propaganda win for Hamas and gives them legitimacy. But this decision, as hard as it was, may be followed by a much harder decision: What if after the four days, Hamas says it will continue to release hostages but only if Israel releases some of the most dangerous murderers and terror planners?
Israel must calculate at what point their soldiers lose so much that many are in danger, and at what point the population is in peril if certain criminals are let go. President Biden had been pushing for a ceasefire, and perhaps while getting hostages back, this will get Israel some points with the United States.
A big tragedy is the failure of the international community and all major countries for not strongly demanding all hostages back from day one.
Based on the information that is known, we must be thankful to get these hostages back. We shouldn’t do this with blinders on, and should continue to make a cost-benefit analysis, while respecting the lives of all the hostages.
American college students who took down posters of the hostages thought they were big shots. Should these hostages be released, I hope these college students take a look in the mirror and work on being less hateful. It isn’t likely.
The author is a writer based in New York.
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Gallant: Seizing Internal Hamas Documents Brings Hostage Deal Closer
i24 News – Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant provided a review to fellow ministers of weapons and documents belonging to Hamas, which were collected by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Document and Technical Means Collection Unit (Amshat) operating in the Gaza Strip.
“This morning we are hosting the government meeting at the IDF, in the defense establishment, to show the ministers exactly how we are achieving and deepening our achievements and what is coming out of the Gaza Strip,” Gallant explained.
“You can see a small part of the things here – missiles, explosive charges, mines, a great many maps, means of communication, documents, computers, drives, all these things which the IDF uses now on as intelligence, and not only that,” the defense minister continued.
“These demonstrate that we penetrated into the heart of the most sensitive places of Hamas and use their intelligence against them,” Gallant described the process of attaining the documents and weapons, hinting at some of the locations from where it was found.
“We are using their weapons against them, detonating them in the field, all this leads to the consequence of deepening and penetrating the heart of Hamas’ capabilities,” the defense minister said.
“The more we deepen our operations, the closer we get to a realistic deal in order to return the hostages,” Gallant concluded.
The post Gallant: Seizing Internal Hamas Documents Brings Hostage Deal Closer first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
UNRWA Chief Urged to Resign After ‘Absurd’ Pledge of Ignorance
i24 News – Israeli diplomatic leaders called for the resignation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, following denial of knowing about a Hamas data center under the agency’s headquarters in Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) revealed on Saturday night that Hamas built a vast network of tunnels under the UNRWA headquarters, with a base directly underneath that was even hooked up to its grid.
“The exposure of UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters’ deep involvement with Hamas, including its use for terror activities and as an access point to terror tunnels, requires immediate action,” the Israeli foreign minister, Israel Katz, posted on X.
“Philippe Lazzarini’s claim of unawareness is not only absurd but also an affront to common sense. His prompt resignation is imperative,” Katz concluded.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, also called for the UNRWA Commissioner-General to resign, responding “it’s not that you didn’t know, it’s that you didn’t WANT to know.”
“We exposed terror tunnels under UNRWA schools and supplied evidence that Hamas’ exploits UNRWA. We implored you to carry out a comprehensive search of all UNRWA facilities in Gaza. But not only did you refuse, you chose to stick your head in the sand,” Erdan added in a detailed post on X.
.@UNLazzarini it’s not that you didn’t know, it’s that you didn’t WANT to know. We exposed terror tunnels under UNRWA schools and supplied evidence that Hamas’ exploits UNRWA. We implored you to carry out a comprehensive search of all UNRWA facilities in Gaza. But not only did… https://t.co/bJsD66OwoO
— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) February 10, 2024
“Take responsibility and resign today!” the Israeli ambassador said, “Every day we find more proof that in Gaza the UN=Hamas and vice versa. Anything the UN says or claims about Gaza cannot be trusted.”
The post UNRWA Chief Urged to Resign After ‘Absurd’ Pledge of Ignorance first appeared on Algemeiner.com.