Prospect of Israeli hostage deal recedes as far-right minister signals opposition

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The imaginable of a hostage woody betwixt Israel and Hamas appears to beryllium quickly receding aft nan far-right Israeli furniture personnel Bezalel Smotrich – connected whom Benjamin Netanyahu is now reliant aft nan resignations of much mean ministers astatine nan play – said he would reason a deal.

Smotrich’s comments, during a Knesset committee meeting, came amid nan fallout from nan resignation of nan erstwhile service main of unit Benny Gantz from nan warfare cabinet. Gantz discontinue connected nan aforesaid play that Israel rescued 4 Israeli hostages held successful Gaza successful an cognition that Gaza’s wellness ministry said killed much than 270 Palestinians and injured hundreds more.

The departure of Gantz, nan leader of nan centre-right National Unity party, leaves Netanyahu pinch capable seats successful his conjugation but has made him moreover much reliant connected nan support of far-right friends including Smotrich, nan finance minister, and Itamar Ben-Gvir, nan nationalist information minister, who person many times threatened to locomotion distant complete immoderate woody for a ceasefire successful speech for hostages.

Smotrich said Hamas was “demanding nan merchandise of hundreds of murderers [held by Israel] truthful that nan hostages beryllium freed” and called nan woody that was being negotiated “collective suicide”, saying it would lead to nan execution of Jews.

“When Hamas demands to extremity nan warfare while it’s surviving successful Gaza, it intends that nan group is arming itself, digging tunnels, buying rockets and that galore Jews could beryllium murdered and taken hostage connected different October 7,” Smotrich said.

His comments underlined Netanyahu’s shrinking room for governmental manoeuvre hardly 24 hours aft nan celebratory headlines successful nan Israeli media complete nan hostages’ rescue.

Netanyahu revelled successful nan operation’s success, gathering each of nan hostages arsenic cameras rolled. Recent sentiment polls had already shown him making immoderate advancement successful rehabilitating his image, and nan rescue cognition will help.

Analysts and commentators were speedy to opportunity that nan anticipation of replicating specified an cognition for nan remaining 120 hostages, astatine slightest 40 of whom are believed to beryllium dead, were slim arsenic captives would beryllium guarded much closely, making a negotiated woody moreover much crucial.

Netanyahu appears to beryllium moving to consolidate his grip complete nan authorities amid reports he is considering scrapping nan emergency warfare furniture successful which Gantz served.

Gantz was good thought of by immoderate occidental diplomats, not slightest successful nan US wherever he was perceived by nan Biden management arsenic a sound of reason, and wherever location is interest complete nan rising power of Smotrich and Ben-Gvir.

In further signs of tensions wrong nan coalition, nan defence minister, Yoav Gallant, announced he planned to defy Netanyahu and reason a arguable measure to draught a mini number of ultra-Orthodox men into nan military.

Columnists successful nan Israeli property person poured acold h2o connected nan conception that nan hostage rescue cognition removes nan necessity for a hostage deal.

“If anyone believes [it] absolves nan authorities of nan request to onslaught a deal, they are surviving a fantasy,” Nahum Barnea wrote successful nan mass-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper. “There are group retired location who request to beryllium saved, and nan sooner nan better.”

The Israeli army’s spokesperson, R Adm Daniel Hagari, acknowledged nan limits of subject force. “What will bring astir of nan hostages backmost location live is simply a deal,” he told reporters.

That position was echoed by nan uncle of 1 of nan 4 rescued hostages, Almog Meir Jan, who was kidnapped during nan Nova euphony festival.

“First we convey nan IDF, nan typical forces, nan decision-makers who took nan determination to rescue them,” Aviram Meir said, adding that his nephew had been held successful respective different locations.

“Second, we person different 120 hostages that person to travel home. I judge astir of them won’t travel location successful a typical cognition and we request a woody to bring them home. The dormant for burying and nan surviving for recovery. And I deliberation nan struggle will continue, and personally, I will beryllium there. Even though Almog came back, personally, I will continue.”

Describing his nephew’s ordeal, he said: “He was fortunate he was pinch nan different 2 hostages, Shlomi Ziv and Andrey Kozlov, and they kept each different busy. They studied together languages, and each of them learned Arabic.

“Almog saw a rally of nan families’ forum successful Tel Aviv pinch his pictures truthful he knew that cipher had forgotten him. They took attraction of 1 another. They are now a team. They are very adjacent now.”

Almog was held for astatine slightest immoderate of nan clip by Abdallah Aljamal, who appears to person worked arsenic a Palestinian journalist and arsenic a spokesperson for Hamas’s labour ministry and was killed pinch respective different family members during nan raid. He had contributed a remark portion successful 2019 to Al Jazeera

Linked to nan governmental moves successful Israel is really Hamas will construe caller events, including nan hostage rescue mission. Some person speculated that nan ambush and nan precocious number of casualties whitethorn beryllium a rustle for nan morale of Hamas fighters, while others person suggested that Hamas leaders whitethorn beryllium much willing successful nan splits successful Israel’s governmental establishment.

With 1 elder Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, connected Monday urging nan US to put unit connected Israel to extremity nan war, it seems apt that Hamas will redouble its demands for world guarantees connected an extremity to nan warfare and nan withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza alternatively than beryllium persuaded to judge an interim ceasefire.

“We telephone upon nan US management to put unit connected nan business to extremity nan warfare connected Gaza and nan Hamas activity is fresh to woody positively pinch immoderate inaugural that secures an extremity to nan war,” Zuhri said.

Source theguardian