In a bold assertion, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has made it unequivocally clear that only military pressure will compel Hamas to release the 240 hostages currently in their grip within the Gaza Strip. This resolute stance underscores Israel’s commitment to ensuring the safe return of its citizens and those of other nations held captive by the militant group.
Gallant’s Call for Military Action
Defense Minister Gallant, addressing reserve soldiers on November 15, did not mince words when he declared, “The word ‘rescue’ that I mentioned could be synonymous with a field raid campaign,” highlighting the necessity of a robust military approach in the rescue efforts. According to Gallant, history has shown that Hamas responds to military pressure, making a ground offensive campaign the most viable option to achieve the objectives of this conflict.
Hamas Under Pressure
Gallant emphasized that Hamas can only be subdued through force, stating, “If they don’t use force, they will not understand.” This assertion underscores the belief that military operations are not just a means of rescue but also a strategic move to bring Hamas to the negotiating table. The Defense Minister further explained that the offensive campaign provides Tel Aviv with a bargaining advantage, allowing them to dictate terms and conditions, including a ceasefire, as part of the exchange for the hostages’ release.
On November 15, Israeli tanks and soldiers from the 4th Kiryati reserve brigade engaged in a battle within the Gaza Strip, showcasing the nation’s commitment to employing military might until the mission is accomplished. The video footage from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) highlights the intensity and determination behind this military campaign.
International Diplomacy in Play
Simultaneously, diplomatic efforts are underway to address the crisis. In a meeting with Brett McGurk, coordinator of Middle East and North Africa issues for the US National Security Council, Secretary Gallant conveyed Israel’s unwavering stance. He asserted, “We will not stop the campaign in the Gaza Strip until the military mission of eliminating Hamas and bringing the hostages home is completed.”
Hostage Demographics and International Response
Israeli officials report that the hostages, taken by Hamas after the October 7 attack, comprise mainly Israeli citizens, some with dual citizenship from the US, Germany, and other countries. Additionally, around 35 foreign nationals working in Israel, primarily Thai citizens, are among those arrested.
Qatari officials have disclosed ongoing negotiations, working in collaboration with the US to broker an agreement between Israel and Hamas. The proposed deal involves the release of 50 hostages from the Gaza Strip, a three-day ceasefire, Israel’s release of some Palestinian prisoners, and an increase in aid allowed into the Gaza Strip. While Hamas has reportedly agreed to the main terms, Israel is still in the process of negotiating the finer details.
Israel’s stance on resolving the hostage crisis is crystal clear—military pressure is the key to securing the release of hostages held by Hamas. The ongoing ground offensive campaign reflects the nation’s commitment to utilizing all means necessary to achieve this goal. As diplomatic negotiations continue, the world watches closely, hoping for a resolution that ensures the safe return of those held captive.