Israel rejected a ceasefire plan with Hamas that would allow for hostage exchanges. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the proposal “delusional.”
Hamas had called to a 135-day pause in the fighting and an exchange of all hostages. Netanyahu said that this would be “surrendering to Hamas” and that it would “invite another massacre.” He says that his plan is to finish this his way.
“We are on the way to an absolute victory,” Netanyahu said. “There is no other solution.”
Hamas had proposed releasing “all women (non-military), children, elderly, and sick Israeli hostages that remain in Gaza.” In exchange, they asked for the release of “all Palestinian women, children, sick and elderly prisoners over 50 years old from Israel prisons, and an additional 1,500 Palestinian prisoners.” Most of the Palestinians in Israeli custody are not prisoners. They are hostages, held illegally by Israel, many of them long before the October 7 Hamas attack on Tel Aviv. A new report from Israel’s Public Defender Office says that Israel is holding Palestinians in crowded prisons, violating basic human rights.
If you care about hostages, you have to care about all hostages, no matter their race or religion.
In related news, Israel says that it will launch an investigation into the number of people the Israeli army killed on October 7 in what they are calling “friendly fire.” This comes after the government used the death of a 12 year-old girl to stoke outrage but new evidence shows that she was killed by an Israeli tank shell along with her neighbors.