Netanyahu to hostage families: ‘Discretion’ needed for captive release deal to succeed

‘While it is too early to say how it will happen, the effort is being made at this time, at this very moment.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with 26 members representing 18 families of hostages remaining in Gaza to reassure them that efforts were being made for the release of their loved ones, but that discretion about the details was required for the operation to succeed.

He said, “We are making every effort. The more public the effort is, the more distant it will be.”

“The more discreet it is, the greater the chances are for success,” Netanyahu added.

“Naturally, for these reasons, I am prevented from sharing with you (the details at this time),” he explained.

The Prime Minister emphasized the commitment to releasing the remaining captives.

“I would like you to understand that we are truly committed in every sense of the word. This is not just lip service,” he stressed.

“This is a genuine effort. It is not fictitious. Neither is it just for show,” he added.

“It stems from our commitment to return them all. The idea is for everyone. The effort is for everyone.”

Netanyahu concluded, “While it is too early to say how it will happen, the effort is being made at this time, at this very moment.”

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The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Coordinator for the Hostages and the Missing Brig-Gen (Res) Gal Hirsch, National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi, his Military Secretary Maj.-Gen Avi Gil, and Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fuchs.

Although Netanyahu didn’t reveal any new details about the negotiations underway and what the final agreement will be, there are reports a hostage release deal may be imminent, according to an Israeli official.

There has been considerable back and forth since the meeting in Paris on Sunday with intelligence officials from Israel, the US, Egypt, and Qatar.

Initially, there was an impasse created by Hamas’s insistence that they would not release any hostages without a permanent ceasefire, a full withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza, and the release of 5,000 Palestinian prisoners.

After Netanyahu refused to agree to those terms, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh agreed to meet with officials in Cairo and “study” the terms of the deal.

News reports Tuesday indicated there may be a hostage release deal that would involve a pause in the fighting of 6 weeks,  the release of civilian hostages, and three Palestinians for every captive released to Israel.