Ben-Gvir: Hostage deal could bring ‘disaster’ on Israel

The fear of a truce is that it could allow Hamas to regroup, rearm, and entrench, thereby posing great risk to Israeli troops in Gaza.

By JNS

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir warned on Tuesday that an emerging deal to secure the release of some hostages in exchange for a ceasefire in the war against Hamas could backfire.

Ben-Gvir said he was “very concerned” that the exact details of a potential agreement were not being divulged and that members of the government are “not being told the truth.”

“The rumors are that Israel is again going to make a major mistake in similar vein to the [2011] Shalit deal,” in which Jerusalem exchanged over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including current Hamas chief in Gaza Yahyah Sinwar, in exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Many Palestinian terrorists released in previous deals returned to terror, and unconfirmed reports suggest that some of them subsequently joined Hamas’s Nukbah force and participated in the Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 Israelis.

Ben-Gvir added that a deal “that “could bring disaster,” pointing to the release of prospective Palestinian prisoners, as well as allowing fuel into the Strip that could be used by Hamas to power its terror machine.

Critics have also pointed to Hamas’s reported demand that Israel refrain from using surveillance drones to track the movement of terrorists during any potential truce, which could allow them to regroup, rearm, and entrench, thereby posing great risk to Israeli troops in Gaza.

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According to a Channel 12 report on Tuesday, Israel and Hamas are “very close” to a deal that would secure the release of some hostages being held by the Palestinian terror group in the Gaza Strip.

The report cited a senior Israeli official who said that while the sides have agreed to the outlines of an agreement, the parties involved are still hashing out various technical issues.

The deal would include the release of around 50 hostages, most likely women and children, in exchange for a ceasefire of 3-5 days. Thereafter, additional captives could be released if the break in the fighting is extended, according to the report.

Hamas is holding some 240 Israelis hostages in Gaza, who were captured during the terror group’s Oct. 7 invasion of Israel.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Jerusalem is “meticulously” verifying the names on the list of Palestinian prisoners who could be released as part of the deal to ensure that none of them are connected to Hamas.

Egyptian sources told the Journal that one scenario would see a five-day pause in fighting and Hamas releasing 50 hostages on the first day, followed by 10 hostages each day that the truce is extended. Hamas would guarantee that mothers are not separated from their children, according to the report.

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The Washington Post on Saturday reported on a similar framework of a potential deal.

According to Egyptian officials, one of the main complications is the inability of Hamas to account for the whereabouts of the hostages it and other terror groups in Gaza are holding.