Hostage Deal Could Bring ‘Disaster’ on Israel, Says Cabinet MinisterEdit
Jerusalem, 21 November, 2023 (TPS) -- Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir warned on Tuesday that an emerging deal to secure the release of some hostages in exchange for a ceasefire in the war against Hamas could backfire.
Ben-Gvir said he was “very concerned” that the exact details of a potential agreement were not being divulged, and that members of the government are “not being told the truth.”
“The rumors are that Israel is again going to make a major mistake in similar vein to the  Shalit deal,” in which Jerusalem released over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including current Hamas chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, in exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Many Palestinian terrorists freed in previous deals returned to terror, and unconfirmed reports suggest that some of them subsequently joined Hamas’s elite Nukba force and participated in the Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 Israelis.
Ben-Gvir added that a deal could therefore “bring disaster,” pointing to the release of prospective Palestinian prisoners, and also said that fuel being allowed into the Strip could end up being used by Hamas to power its terror machine.
Hamas has also reportedly demanded that Israel refrain from using surveillance drones during any potential truce.
According to a Channel 12 report on Tuesday, Israel and Hamas are “very close” to a deal that would secure the release of some hostages being held by the Palestinian terror group in the Gaza Strip.
The report cited a senior Israeli official who said that while the sides have agreed to the outlines of an agreement, the parties are still hashing out various technical issues.
The deal under discussion would reportedly include the release of around 50 hostages, most likely women and children, in exchange for a ceasefire of 3-5 days. Ten hostages would be released per day, with additional captives possibly being released if the ceasefire is extended, according to the report.
Hamas is holding some 240 Israelis hostages in Gaza, who were captured during the terror group’s Oct. 7 invasion of Israel.