Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that the release of hostages taken by Hamas will not signal the end of Israel’s 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.
The Israeli Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, echoed Netanyahu’s statement and stressed 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 towards returning “all” hostages.
However, not everyone in Israel’s government is supportive of a potential agreement. The Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, has warned that it could lead to disaster for the country and his party opposes it.
Speculation about a possible agreement for hostage release arose after President Joe Biden stated that it was already “very, very close.” However, an IDF spokesperson emphasized that if such an agreement occurs, Israeli authorities would first inform the families of Hamas captives before making it public.
According to Ismail Haniye, leader of Hamas’ political wing and Qatar mediator on this issue, a truce agreement with Israel is “close,” but it remains unclear how a potential agreement will impact ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.