Freed hostages urge Netanyahu to agree to deal even though ‘the price is unbearable’

“If you continue in this line of destroying Hamas, there will be no hostages left to save,” one former hostage said.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A half dozen former female hostages of Hamas took to the media Wednesday night to plead that the government accept the latest Hamas deal for the release of their fellow captives because their lives were in immediate danger, even if the terms were unreasonable.

“We have reached the moment of truth when you must decide who will live and who will die,” said Sharon Alony-Cunyo, who was released in late November with her twin three-year-old daughters but whose husband is still being held in Gaza. “At this moment, generations of Jews are standing before our eyes who were raised on the fundamental value of ‘He who saves one soul is as if he saved an entire world.’ The price is heavy and unbearable, but the price of abandonment will become a historical stain for generations.”

Sixteen-year-old Sahar Kalderon, whose father remains a captive, dismissed the price because of the suffering of those who were left behind.

“What does it f-ing matter?” she said. “There are 136 people who are living through horror.”

The IDF has confirmed that of that number, at least 32 are dead, including those murdered by the terrorists in captivity and dying for lack of medical care, and another 20 may no longer be alive, as well.

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Nili Margalit spoke harshly too, stating that “If the abductees do not return to their homes, every mother and father will know that they are next in line and that they live in a country that is not committed to their security.”

Adina Moshe, who was abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz along with some who were her former students, addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tearfully, saying, “If you continue in this line of destroying Hamas, there will be no hostages left to save.”

They were responding to Netanyahu’s outright rejection of the terms Hamas had publicized the day before, in a press conference held right before they spoke.

Saying that “anyone would refuse” what he deemed as “delusional demands,” Netanyahu explained that “surrendering” to those demands “will not lead to the release of the hostages. It will only invite another massacre.”

“There is no other solution than total victory,” he said, adding that it was a doable goal that would take “months, not years.” He repeated his oft-stated belief that “military pressure is a necessary condition for their release.”

Among other demands, Hamas has proposed that in exchange for a gradual release of all the live hostages and bodies of the dead, there should be a 4.5 months-long ceasefire that would lead to an end to the war and a permanent IDF withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.  Additionally, Hamas would have the right to select which 500 terrorists serving life sentences should be freed from Israeli prisons, as part of a much large prisoner release.

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Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told visiting Secretary of State Antony Blinken that “Hamas’ answer was formulated so that Israel would refuse it. Their position will lead to a continuation of the war.”