Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that the release of hostages taken by Hamas will not be the end of the Israeli military campaign against Palestinian militia structures in the Gaza Strip. According to Netanyahu, the war has stages and the recovery of prisoners will be carried out in stages.
He also confirmed that the pending agreement with 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 prisoner exchange agreement is completed.” This agreement is seen as a first step toward returning “all” hostages.
Not everyone in Israel’s government is in favor of a potential agreement for hostage release, as Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir has warned that it could lead to disaster for the country. He has stated that his party opposes this pact.
Speculation about a possible agreement for hostage release arose after President Joe Biden said it was already “very, very close.” However, an IDF spokesperson emphasized that if such an agreement occurs, Israeli authorities would first inform families of Hamas captives before making any public announcement.
According to Ismail Haniye, leader of Hamas political wing, a truce agreement with Israel is “close,” and Qatar, which acts as a mediator, sees that both parties are in “the final phase.” As events unfold further, it remains unclear how this potential agreement will impact ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.