Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that the release of hostages captured by Hamas will not mark the end of Israel’s military campaign against Palestinian militia structures in the Gaza Strip. According to Netanyahu, the war has stages, and the return of prisoners will be carried out in stages.
He stated that an agreement, 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 would continue fighting “with all its forces once the phase of the prisoner exchange agreement is completed.” This agreement is seen as a first step toward returning all hostages.
However, not everyone in Israel’s government is in favor of a 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 hostage release began after US President Joe Biden stated that an agreement was already “very, very close.” However, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson emphasized that if an agreement occurs, Israeli authorities would first inform Hamas captives’ families before making it public.
Hamas political leader Ismail Haniye also stated that 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 deal will affect ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.