Hostage Danger Continues


( – The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has reached a critical point, with approximately 130 Israeli hostages in grave danger as Hamas is still holding them.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a firm rejection of Hamas’ demands, has made it clear that he will not agree to their terms for ending the war.

These demands include ending the war, withdrawing Israeli forces from Gaza, releasing prisoners, and leaving Hamas intact. Netanyahu, in a video address, denounced these conditions as “terms of surrender” from Hamas, which he labeled as “monsters.”

In response, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri stated that Netanyahu’s refusal to meet their demands effectively eliminates any possibility of the Israeli captives’ return.

This statement comes after a partial exchange was brokered by the US, Qatar, and Egypt, where over 100 of the estimated 240 hostages taken by Hamas were freed in return for the release of 240 Palestinians from Israeli prisons.

The situation is further complicated by Netanyahu’s stance on Palestinian statehood, which has hardened. He declared his unwillingness to compromise on Israeli security control over all territory west of the Jordan River.

This position is in contrast to suggestions by Joe Biden, who has proposed solutions for the creation of an independent Palestinian state, possibly involving a non-militarized government.

As Netanyahu remains steadfast against international and internal pressures to change his position on Palestinian statehood, the crisis deepens with the grim announcement by Gaza’s health ministry: approximately 25,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war, with the UN reporting that two-thirds of them are women and children.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed profound distress over the scale of civilian deaths, describing them as “heartbreaking and utterly unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, US intelligence officials, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, estimate that only about 20% to 30% of Hamas’ militants have been eliminated by Israeli forces.

This assessment challenges claims by the Israeli Defense Forces about the extent of enemy casualties in the over three-month-long conflict.