(Special envoy to Tel Aviv, Israel) He israeli government In recent hours, it has received dozens of calls from 25 different countries requesting that the ground offensive against Gaza be postponed until Hamas releases all its civilian hostages captured during the terrorist attack on October 7. Likewise, the State of Qatar – at its different political levels – spoke with presidents, chancellors and chiefs of staff of those 25 countries to validate its status as ad hoc negotiator before Hamas, that uses imprisoned international citizens to bog down Israel’s entire war operation in the Strip.
In principle, Hamas is holding civilian hostages from the following countries: Germany, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Spain, United States, France, Philippines, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Panama, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom , Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
The total number of civilian kidnapped -according to the numbers that Infobae was able to obtain in Tel Aviv, Washington, Berlin, Paris, the United Kingdom and Doha- would range between 60 and 130, and their ages would be from one year to eighty-five years. These hostages are being held in tunnels built by Hamas near Gaza City, and there is still no accurate list of their identities and physical conditions.
The rest of those captured – to reach the tentative figure of 200 – would belong to the Israeli army and to the security forces of that country. These hostages will only be released if Benjamin Netanyahu’s government accepts an exchange with Palestinian prisoners who are being held in Israeli prisons.
The wars that Israel fought against Arab enemies that attacked its own territory – Six Days and Yom Kippur – did not have the hostage factor when planning a war offensive. Unlike what is happening now with Hamas, Those conflicts in 1967 and 1973 were resolved suddenly and without the political need to open a diplomatic negotiation channel to avoid probable collateral damage.
But the capture of more than 60 hostages who are citizens of 25 countries imposed an unexpected dynamic on the decision-making board of Netanyahu and his war cabinet. The Israeli premier assumed that at this time the 300,000 soldiers stationed in front of Gaza had already begun their march to destroy the leadership of the terrorist organization.
However, that war plan against Hamas remained at an impasse before the approach led by the United States and accompanied by 24 other nations that demand the freedom of their compatriots captured during the fundamentalist massacre of October 7. During his whirlwind visit to Tel Aviv, Joseph Biden alerted Netanyahu that he should slow down his offensive against the Strip until the US hostages were outside Gaza.
The Israeli leader accepted the humanitarian premise presented by Biden, which did not imply affecting Israel’s decision to advance on Gaza to annihilate the Hamas terrorist structure. There were two agendas in parallel –with difficult coexistence in real time– that served different local and international interests.
Hours after the terrorist attack in southern Israel, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had reserved conversations with important officials from Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Turkey to design a geopolitical mechanism that would serve to rescue those kidnapped by Hamas.
The Iran hostage crisis and its impact on the domestic agenda of the United States is still remembered in Washington: James Carter – a Democrat like Biden – lost the 1980 presidential election against Ronald Reagan, who represented the Republican Party.
Next year Biden will seek re-election and does not want to repeat Carter’s experience.
In this context, after his raid of reserved talks in DC, Blinken toured different Arab countries to close a diplomatic mechanism that would allow the American hostages who are still imprisoned in the Hamas dungeons to be recovered alive.
The key to that tour was his meeting with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar. This small Arab country, with superlative oil wealth, a strong will to increase its power in the region and links to certain terrorist organizations, agreed to mediate with Hamas.
And this participation behind the curtain was endorsed by Germany, France, Canada and the United Kingdom, which have national citizens captured by the terrorist organization. Besides, Infobae was able to confirm that the foreign ministries of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Spain, Italy, Panama and Ukraine also contacted the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, who made himself available to find a way out for the hostages of those countries.
“Two American civilians, who had been taken hostage by Hamas, were freed. Canada welcomes this development and thanks Qatar for its assistance. “We will continue to work with Qatar and other partners to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas.”posted Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, so that there are no doubts regarding his support for Qatar’s diplomatic effort.
Hamas seeks to prevent Israel’s ground offensive and hides behind the hostages it took after murdering, raping, mutilating and torturing hundreds of Jews in the kibbutzim and cities it occupied in its November 7 attack. Qatar made secret agreements with terrorist organizations -the CIA has proven that it financed ISIS- and offers its capital Doha as a safe sanctuary for the main leaders of Hamas.
In fact, yesterday in a villa in Doha, Khalil al-Hayya, a political cadre of the fundamentalist organization, made statements regarding the release of hostages Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie. Al-Hayya assured that Hamas’s intention is to hand over all captured civilians and that the limit is set with soldiers and members of the Israeli security forces.
“Our problem is with the soldiers, the military,” Al-Hayya said.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and his war cabinet find themselves at a crossroads. They consider it appropriate to achieve the freedom of all the hostages, but they refuse to postpone sine die the attack on Hamas until this key issue is resolved for 25 countries that for two weeks have been demanding the freedom of their compatriots.
For now, The offensive against Gaza is at an impasse. And Netanyahu has not yet defined how long it will last. He must choose between the freedom of all the hostages, which is a possibility with an uncertain date, or setting a deadline tentative and order army troops to storm the Strip to exterminate Hamas.
Before solving, Netanyahu will pick up his red phone and agree with Biden, which is in permanent session with its National Security Council. In D.C., facing the hostage crisis in Loopnobody sleeps.