OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Monday it is the right time to do a hostage deal with Hamas, a day after the military pulled out troops from Gaza’s main southern city.

With indirect talks between Israel and Hamas on a Gaza truce and a hostage deal going on in Cairo, Gallant told Israeli army recruits that, “I think we are at an appropriate moment” to do a deal with the Hamas fighters, six months into the war.

“The relentless pressure on Hamas and the position of strength from which we come into this campaign, allow us flexibility and freedom of action,” he added, according to a statement issued by his office.

Israel pulls troops out of southern Gaza

“There will be difficult decisions and we will be ready to pay the price in order to get the hostages back, and then return to fighting.”

Around 250 Israeli and foreign hostages were abducted by Hamas on October 7. Israel’s military says 129 remain in Gaza, of whom 34 are dead.

Families and supporters of hostages have held regular protests demanding government action to bring them home.

Gallant said Sunday that Israeli troops had been pulled out of southern Gaza “to prepare for future missions”, including in neighbouring Rafah, where Israel believes Hamas fighters have been hiding among roughly 1.5 million Palestinians.

He said an Israeli commando division was withdrawn after months of fierce fighting because “Hamas ceased to exist as a military framework” in Khan Yunis, just north of Rafah.

The Gaza war was sparked by the October 7 attack against Israel by Hamas fighters that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 33,207 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.


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Truthisbitter813 Apr 09, 2024 09:35am
Delulu at its peak with these zionists
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