Netanyahu said a hostage release deal will not stop his ultimate goal of ending Hamas

Images of those kidnapped by Hamas (REUTERS/Amir Cohen) (AMIR COHEN/)

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahuassured this Tuesday that “the war has stages”, and that the possible hostage release taken by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) will not mean the end of the Israeli military campaign to destroy the Palestinian militia structures in the Gaza Strip.

“The war has stages and the recovery of the prisoners will be carried out in stages, but we will not rest until complete victory is achieved. We will continue fighting in Gaza with all our forces once the hostage agreement phase is over,” said the Israeli head of government, according to the local press.

Thus, Netanyahu has confirmed that the agreement, which must still be approved by the Israeli Government, will consist of the release of hostages “in stages”, and that those prisoners who do not return to their homes in the first deliveries will be visited by Red Cross personnel.

“The war continues and will continue until we achieve all our objectives. “The security leaders fully support the decision and say that the agreement will allow the Army to prepare to continue fighting,” added the Israeli prime minister, who has stated that he is “committed” to the release of the hostages.

For his part, the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallanthas expressed himself in the same terms and has stressed that the Army will continue fighting “with all its forces once the phase of the prisoner exchange agreement is completed”, a pact that he classifies as “the first step” for the return of “ all” the hostages.

These words from the Israeli prime minister come just hours after the spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Daniel Hagarihas recognized that the release of the hostages is a “important” objective, but that would not affect the mission of ending the Palestinian militia.

“The goal of returning the hostages (to their homes) is important. Even if this results in the reduction of some of the other things, we will know how to restore our operational achievements,” said Hagari, implicitly alluding to a possible cessation of hostilities in exchange for the release of captives.

In the last few hours there has been speculation about a possible agreement for the release of the hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 during an offensive in which the lives of close to 1,200 people and motivated the IDF response, which resulted in nearly 14,100 Palestinians dead in Gaza.

In fact, the president of the United States, Joe Bidenreiterated this Tuesday that the agreement that would allow the release of a group of hostages in the hands of the Palestinian militia is now “very, very close,” although he has avoided going into “details,” claiming that “nothing is done until it is done.” made”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO/dpa)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO/dpa) (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO/dpa/)

In this context, Hagari has stressed that, if the agreement occurs, the Israeli authorities will first inform the families of the Hamas captives, and later make the news public. “I recommend listening only to reports from official sources,” he stated, according to The Times of Israel.

Netanyahu met this afternoon with the emergency cabinet – formed after the Hamas offensive and made up of 38 ministers – to finally approve the possible agreement, which in principle would be accompanied by the Israel’s commitment to a ceasefire in the Palestinian enclave.

The possible agreement has not been well received by the entire Israeli Government, since the Israeli Minister of National Security, the far-right Itamar Ben Gvirhas warned that it will lead to a “disaster” for the country, and has alluded to previous prisoner exchanges that did not give the expected results.

“The enemy must continue to be defeated and brought to an agreement under the conditions dictated by Israel, which does not distinguish between hostages, and not under the problematic conditions that endanger the IDF forces in the field,” said Ben Gvir, who has indicated that his party opposes the pact.

The leader of the political wing Hamas, Ismail Haniyehad also assured this Tuesday that the truce agreement with Israel “is close”, an agreement that would contemplate the release of dozens of people kidnapped during the attacks carried out in early October by the Palestinian Islamist group.

Qatar, which participates as a mediator, also sees that the parties are already in the “final phase”, in the words of a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Majed al Ansari. “We are closer than ever to reaching an agreement,” he stated before journalists, according to the network. Al Jazeera.

(With information from Europa Press)