On Tuesday, the far-right Minister of National Security of Israel, Ben Gvir, expressed his concern about a possible agreement with the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) to release hostages taken as a result of October attacks. He warned that such an agreement could lead to “disaster” and that he is concerned about talks being left out and details not being shared truthfully. This comes after the 2011 release of soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, which led to similar fears.
Meanwhile, the mother of two minors kidnapped by Hamas in the Gaza Strip called on Monday for the opportunity to move forward with an agreement to bring them home. She spoke during a sit-in in front of the Israeli Army headquarters in Tel Aviv. The Hostage Families Forum also issued a statement warning that any bill to apply the death penalty for people convicted of terrorism could put hostages at risk and should be debated privately and professionally.
On Saturday, Ben Gvir announced that he would present his draft legislation on this matter to the Knesset. He had previously openly supported including the death penalty in legislation for people convicted of terrorism and had said that anyone who commits such acts should be executed. The attacks carried out by Hamas resulted in nearly 1,200 deaths and more than 240 kidnappings in Israel, while authorities in Gaza reported over 13,300 deaths from bombings by Israel and more than 200 Palestinian deaths at Israeli hands or at settler attacks in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.