Hostages snatched by Hamas in Israel could be hidden deep in secret tunnels in Gaza, moved across the border into Egypt, or even buried alive.
This is according to author and counterterrorism expert Samuel Katz, who spent years observing elite special forces units of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Katz warned that the fate of the dozens, possibly hundreds of hostages taken by Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza is a “nightmare scenario” for Israel. (Related: An absolutely massive Israeli ground invasion of Gaza appears to be imminent.)
Katz noted that the IDF and Israeli intelligence agencies are possibly looking at multiple locations all over Gaza where captives could be held. He described the situation as unique and unprecedented as hostage situations go.
“We are in uncharted territories, this is unprecedented,” he said. “Large-scale hostage rescues have usually involved one location they’ve involved aircraft trains, tubular assaults that would enable one entry, one exit or multiple points that the rescuers could breach.”
As Katz pointed out, this is not the case with the current situation. He warned that hostages could be hidden in tunnels near the border with Israel or they could have been moved to safety closer to the Egyptian border.
“You can have hostages that have been buried alive,” he added. “The barbarism that was displayed by the attack provides no envelope into how these poor individuals might be treated and where they might be situated.” Gazaground offensive to save hostages could lead to ethnic cleansing of Palestinians
Hamas has admitted to holding some 150 civilian hostages, and has even threatened to execute some of them should Israel escalate the conflict by launching a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip that analysts warn could lead to mass atrocities and ethnic cleansing on a scale not seen in the region in over 70 years.
“Talk of ‘another Nakba’ is on the rise in Israel,” warned Yousef Munayyer, a dual citizen of Israel and the United States of Palestinian descent, referring to the 948 atrocity that led to over 700,000 Palestinians fleeing from present-day Israeli territory.
“Most of Gaza’s residents today are in the territory because of the Nakba and continue to be denied repatriation to their ancestral homes in present-day Israel and the West Bank,” wrote Munayyer forForeign Policy. “Now, Israeli politicians are calling to ethnically cleanse Palestinians again.”
Katz warned that the Israeli response to Hamas’ attacks on Israeli territory has been “remarkable” so far, given the amount of manpower Hamas and its allies were able to summon to invade Israel and the surprising ease with which it was able to take hostages. But he added that “going into Gaza is going to be a much more difficult situation.”
Hamas has demanded freedom for all 5,200 political prisoners the group says are currently held in Israeli jails in exchange for the captives. It has also warned that it will kill a hostage every time Israel conducts air strikes on civilian targets in Gaza without warning.
Israel has historically been willing to make big concessions to win freedom for hostages, almost all of them over soldiers or their remains. In 2011, Hamas released IDF Staff Sgt. Gilad Schalit in exchange for the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
But right now it is unclear whether Israel would be willing to negotiate, as more than 1,200 Israelis so far have been killed in the current conflict. Gershon Baskin, who helped negotiate Schalit’s release, noted that nobody in Israel “has the appetite to give Hamas any kind of prize.”
Watch this episode of the “Health Ranger Report” as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, laments how more and more people are calling for the genocide of allPalestiniansin Gaza for the actions of the few Hamas terrorists.
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