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Tuesday, October 24, 2023 

The actual reason 2 more hostages were released

Two more hostages were released by Hamas in Gaza, and an expert explains why:
Two more hostages who were kidnapped by Palestinian Islamic terrorists two weeks ago have been released by their captors.

The families of Nurit Cooper, 79, and Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, were notified that both women were released by Hamas. Their husbands are still being held hostage.

They have reportedly been handed over to the Red Cross.

Joe Truzman, a research analyst for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) focused on Palestinian armed groups, said that Hamas’ claims that it released the hostages for humanitarian reasons were bogus.

“It’s simply a tactic to create international pressure on Israel to delay a ground incursion into Gaza,” he said.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller suggested that Hamas did not get anything in return for the release of the hostages.

“As far as I’m aware, Hamas is not getting anything in return for the release of these hostages…we have not released any prisoners, the government of Israel has not released any prisoners, I’m not aware of any release of any prisoners,” he said.
While it's good these hostages were released, that still doesn't mean there should be delays. Daniel Greenfield addresses the subject:
Some are wondering why Israel hasn’t begun the ground assault on Hamas yet. The answer is in Washington D.C.

After the Hamas atrocities, Israel went on a full war footing. 300,000 Israelis have been evacuated from front line areas and the IDF mobilized 300,000 troops. Those are people who are not with their families or working, some flew in from abroad. This makes Israel one of the most mobilized nations in the world. But it can’t keep that up forever.

But instead of going in, everyone is waiting because D.C. and the EU want to hold off an assault on Hamas.

U.S. and European governments have joined to put pressure on Israel to hold off on its ground invasion of Gaza to allow more time to win the release of hostages held by Hamas, U.S. and foreign officials said.

Several countries have been trying to leverage their contacts with Hamas to press the militant group to release the hostages taken during their onslaught on Israel earlier this month. One U.S. official had said that Qatar’s government had been very helpful on the matter, but noted the difficulties of reaching an agreement given Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and the spiraling humanitarian crisis there.

Qatar is a state sponsor of Hamas. It’s harboring Hamas leaders. Before the Hamas attack on Israel, Qatar very helpfully negotiated a truce.

And now that the U.S. and the EU have made it clear that they can stop Israel from taking out Hamas as leverage for the hostages, Hamas has no reason to release the hostages.

Those hostages are the only reason IDF soldiers aren’t in Gaza City right now.

Rather than securing their release, they’ve made them more valuable as hostages.
This is disturbing, and certainly can't be allowed to get in the way of terminating Hamas altogether.

Update: here's an account by one of the freed hostages.

Update 2: Stephen Green notes that one of the women who was freed appears to be a "peace activist" which could explain her behavior.

Update 3: some experts have commented on how Hamas is using this as psychological warfare:
"It is horrifying to say this, but this is a Hamas victory. To have a captive come and say that she was treated gently and politely, that she was given the medicine she needs - this is going to be shown to the entire world. This is the place to filter things out, to control the media that is disseminated," said Anat Hochberg Marom, an international geopolitical expert.

Gail Shoresh, a former senior official in the Mossad, commented: "There are some things that the wonderful Mrs. Lifshitz should have said only to her family, or only to intelligence services. Otherwise, we know exactly what the Hamas propaganda machine will do with them. This is the time for media discretion; the State's various bodies working to free the captives should take notice of this and act responsibly."

Shoresh added: "Many people have talked about how the captives are an asset for Hamas - we need to find captives who will be an asset for Israel."
Even this may not have been handled well by authorities, depending how you view this. And there's more experts commenting on this now, pointing out that this is a PR disaster.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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