Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that the release of hostages taken by Hamas will not mark the end of Israel’s military campaign against Palestinian militia structures in Gaza. According to Netanyahu, the war has stages and the release of prisoners will be carried out in stages.
Netanyahu confirmed that the agreement, which is still pending official status, will consist of the release of hostages “in stages,” and that prisoners who do not return to their homes in the first deliveries will be visited by Red Cross personnel. The Israeli Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, echoed Netanyahu’s statement and emphasized that the Army will continue fighting “with all its forces once the phase of the prisoner exchange agreement is completed.” This agreement is seen as the first step toward returning “all” hostages.
However, not everyone in Israel’s government is in favor of this potential agreement. The Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, has warned that it could lead to a “disaster” for the country and his party opposes it. Speculation about a possible agreement for releasing hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 arose after President Joe Biden stated that it was already “very, very close.” However, according to an IDF spokesperson, if an agreement occurs, Israeli authorities will first inform families of Hamas captives before making any announcement public.
The leader of Hamas’ political wing Ismail Haniye also stated that a truce with Israel is “close” and Qatar, which acts as a mediator between Israel and Hamas sees both sides are at final phase. As events unfold further details regarding how this potential agreement would impact ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas remain uncertain.