Military analyst for Haaretz newspaper, Amos Harel, said that contrary to what some might think, there is currently no concrete proposal on the table to conclude a new deal to release Israeli prisoners held by the Islamic Resistance Movement (agitation).
Harel added that what has been proposed so far are merely ideas, and that there is awareness within Israel of what the Hamas leadership may demand.
The first prisoner deal was concluded last November, under which Hamas received a “relatively small” return, according to Harel’s claim, which added that the movement assumed that the first deal would lead to lengthy negotiations about another deal, and that the Israeli army would not resume its war. on Gaza.
Harel explained that what happened in practice was the opposite, as the Israeli attack resumed after the end of the temporary truce.
It appears – in his opinion – that the ceiling of Hamas’ demands in the current round is very much higher, and this is not only because it is demanding an “all for all” formula in a prisoner exchange, but because it is also seeking to obtain two other things, which are a long-term ceasefire and a commitment to By not exposing its leaders to harm.
The military analyst claims in his article that these two commitments seem very easy at first glance, but their implementation is difficult.
Admission of failure
However, Israel's approval of such a deal would mean the end of the war in its current form, Harel believes.
The writer adds, “An approval of this kind represents an acknowledgment by the Israeli government and its army of their failure twice, once at the beginning of the war, and another time in achieving the ambitious goals they set after its outbreak, which is defeating Hamas and dismantling its capabilities.”
Some senior government and military officials argue that Israel has no other choice, Harel continued, because these goals conflict with the release of all prisoners, which is the only truly achievable goal at the moment.
Harel explains, “From the point of view of these officials, the catastrophic failure that Israel suffered on last October 7 obliges it morally to liberate its prisoners, even if it comes at the cost of admitting failure, which practically means accepting Hamas’s victory in the war,” expressing his hope. This is only a temporary acceptance.
According to the article, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will find it very difficult to accept such a deal for two reasons, the first of which is that in addition to acknowledging failure in the war, this would include an unprecedented concession regarding the release of those whom Israel describes as “terrorists.”