Hamas Hostage Release Introduces New Variable to Ongoing War
International Pressure Mounts for "Hostage Rescue"
- 미디어1 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Oct 24 2023 12:19 PM
Israel in a Bind Ahead of Ground Operations Israel airstrikes killed 436 in Gaza
In the ongoing conflict, two additional individuals have been released, seemingly orchestrated by India, as international pressure grows for the "rescue of hostages." Israel finds itself in a difficult situation ahead of potential ground operations and has rejected a proposal for a "fuel-hostage release swap."
The situation has escalated dramatically, with 436 casualties reported in Gaza, marking the highest daily death toll since the war began.
Palestinian Refugees Receiving Food Aid
On the 23rd, Palestinian refugees who have sought shelter to escape Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip, near Rafah, are receiving food aid at a UN-operated school. Gaza Strip=AFP Yonhap News
As Hamas, the Palestinian armed faction, strategically starts to release hostages, the conflict appears to be taking on a new dimension. Israel finds it challenging to immediately launch a massive military operation against Hamas as it could face criticism for rushing into retaliatory attacks, which may endanger hostages from various countries. The United States, which places a high priority on hostage rescue, is indirectly urging Israel to exercise restraint.
According to CNN, Haaretz, and various Arab media outlets, on the 23rd (local time), Hamas released two additional hostages, two Israeli women aged 79 and 85. This came just three days after they released two American nationals on the 20th.
The video of the hostage release by Hamas on that day was staged in a way that indicated a sense of theatricality. A Hamas member with a black mask covering his entire face handed drinks and snacks to the waiting two women. Just before one of the hostages boarded the vehicle for release, she shook hands with the Hamas member. A Hamas spokesperson stated that the hostage release was motivated by humanitarian reasons due to Israeli attacks. However, it appears that the hostage release is not solely for humanitarian purposes. Hostages could be used as bargaining chips for the exchange of essential supplies, such as fuel. Hamas attempted negotiations with Israel, suggesting the release of up to 50 hostages in exchange for fuel, but the proposal was rejected by Israel, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Fuel was excluded based on Israel's argument that it could be used for war purposes.
The most significant advantage of hostage release is that it potentially delays Israel's ground operations. While international pressure is mounting on Israel to prioritize the release of hostages, Hamas gains more time to prepare its forces. The voices of hostage families calling for negotiations and hostage release could also become louder, further complicating Israel's actions. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have identified around 220 hostages in the Gaza Strip.
Israel is in a difficult position. According to the Times of Israel, the IDF has considered plans to rescue hostages during ground operations. They believe that putting pressure on Hamas may facilitate hostage release. Israel has stated, "The release of hostages cannot hinder our actions, including ground operations." The United Nations' call for a "humanitarian ceasefire" is not an option for Israel. The United States shares this stance as they cannot provide a ceasefire in exchange for hostage release. When asked about the possibility of a temporary ceasefire, U.S. President Joe Biden responded, "We can talk about that after the hostages are released."
On another note, between the 22nd and 23rd (local time) in the Gaza Strip, more than 430 Palestinians lost their lives in 24 hours. This is the highest daily death toll since the outbreak of the war between Israel and the Palestinian armed faction, Hamas. The increased intensity of airstrikes, described as "indiscriminate bombings," was initiated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as announced on the 21st.
According to Reuters and the Arab media outlet Al Jazeera on the 23rd, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported, "At least 436 people have died in the Gaza Strip due to IDF airstrikes in the past 24 hours." The victims include 182 children. The Palestinian Ministry of Health revealed on the 23rd that since May 7th, the number of Gaza Strip residents who have lost their lives due to Israeli military attacks has reached 5,087. Among them, 40% (2,055 individuals) were children.
By Kwon Kyung-sung, Kim Hyun-jong, Lee Yoo-jin Reporter