Biden official: ‘If Israel rejects hostage deal, Sinwar wins and Israel loses’

Hamas leaders, particularly Yahya Sinwar, have rejected the release of any hostage unless Israel agrees to a complete ceasefire from the outset.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

A Biden Administration adviser warned Israel that refusing to accept the 3-phase hostage deal would mean a victory for October 7th mastermind Yahya Sinwar.

Phil Gordon, national security adviser to US Vice President Kamala Harris and assistant to US President Joe Biden spoke at the 21st Herzliya Conference on Monday.

Gordon discussed the 3-phase hostage deal, beginning with the release of 33 hostages and leading to an end of the war in Gaza.

Netanyahu has acceded to Biden’s encouragement to accept the deal but insists on a “total victory” over Hamas with the military operation on Rafah.

Hamas leaders, particularly Yahya Sinwar, have rejected the release of any hostage unless Israel agrees to a complete ceasefire from the outset.

Gordon said, “We should not give up hope for getting a deal even as we press Hamas still to agree.”

He added, “We know there are some in Israel who do not support this proposal … We simply disagree with that.”

Gordon denied that agreeing to a hostage deal and total victory over Hamas were mutually exclusive choices.

He explained, “A rejection of this deal would not bring about some undefined notion of total victory, but it would lead to endless conflict draining Israel’s resources, contributing to its isolation on the world stage and preventing the hostages from being reunited with their families.”

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Gordon said that any hesitation regarding a deal on Israel’s part would play into Sinwar’s hands.

“Don’t forget, Sinwar wants to see Israel isolated in the world. He wants to bring in regional actors against Israel and he wants to divide Israel from the United States.”

He added, “A transition to lower intensity military operations and an improvement in the humanitarian situation in Gaza would deprive him of all of those goals as well as the fantasy that the longer he holds out the more leverage he has” against Israel.