There is no question of an exchange of prisoners, Hamas has no prisoners. They are holding about 240 Israelis, mostly civilians, including women and children. These are not prisoners who have been convicted of any crime in a due process of law, or at least suspected of it, like the Palestinians in Israeli prisons. Even the vast majority are not even prisoners, they can only be soldiers, not civilians. They are the hostages that Hamas has taken in a gangster-like and totally against-all-convention fashion to use for blackmail. Hamas is labeled as a terrorist organization, and it really acts that way. Regardless, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sees Hamas members as freedom fighters.
Hamas hopes to repeat its success in 2011, when it returned kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, including 280 serving life sentences for violent terrorist acts.
Hamas leader wants to negotiate
Nothing much can be objected to the other circles put forward by the chairman of the political council of Hamas, Hanija, because a cease-fire is needed and an independent Palestinian state was already mentioned in UN General Assembly Resolution 181 from 1947. However, Hamas did not help its creation in any way, on the contrary. By forcibly taking control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, he prevented further actions.
Hamas still wants to destroy Israel
Moreover, Haniyeh’s words contradict what another member of the Hamas Politburo, Ghazi Hamad, said ten days before him, who quite openly praised the killing and abduction of Israeli civilians and said that it will be repeated until Israel is wiped off the face of the earth.
“Israel is an entity that has no place in our country,” Hamad told Lebanon’s LBC television on October 24, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Wednesday.
“We must remove it because it is creating a security, military and political disaster for the Muslim and Arab nation. We are not ashamed to say it,” added Hamad. When asked if it was the complete destruction of Israel, he answered clearly, clearly, unequivocally and unequivocally: “Yes, of course.” This does not seem like an attempt to start a dialogue.
Hamad even threatened to repeat the attack: “We have to teach Israel a lesson and we will do it two or three times. The surge from al-Aqsa (the name of Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel on October 7) is only the first. He will be second, third, fourth.’
At the same time, Hamad openly admitted that ordinary Palestinians will pay dearly for this. “If we pay the price? Yes, and we are ready to pay it. They call us a nation of martyrs and we are proud of the sacrifice of martyrs,” said Hamad, who does not live in Gaza himself, in an interview from the safety of his office in Beirut.
“No one should blame us for what we do. It will be the 7th of October, the tenth of October, the millionth of October. Everything we do is justified. We are victims of the occupation,” he insists.
Hamas spokesman: Until we destroy Israel, we will repeat the attacks of October 7
His vile words no longer caused even an extraordinary storm of indignation. As if it were just some verbal folklore that we have to accept willy-nilly. As if it didn’t matter that a senior Hamas official said it and that it represents at least one current of thought in the movement. In the meantime, it is being discussed in detail how each step of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu contributed to the attack. Not that Netanyahu’s policies are good and reduce tensions and reduce threats. However, Hamas attacked.
Hamas members contradict each other
Many prefer to listen to Haniyeh’s words, but to imagine that Hamas changed its views in just ten days as a result of the harshness of the Israeli strikes is naive. Of course, they are hitting Hamas, and that is why they are changing their rhetoric. However, Haníja himself did this several times. He first said that Israel could not exist, but then talked about a possible two-state solution, which seemed prescient. However, even after that, Hamas did not recognize Israel and did not renounce violence. From this point of view, Israel cannot really be blamed for not wanting to act.
However, the opposing statements do not represent any contradiction in the views of Hamas. Each one is intended for someone else. Hamad’s Lebanese. It is to put pressure on the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, as Hamas is disappointed that it has not yet joined its side in the fight against Israel.
On the contrary, Haníj’s words are addressed to the international community. It is meant to show that Hamas is ready to act and end the conflict, while Israel refuses to do so. However, one cannot forget the reality – since the summer of 2007, when Hamas forcibly took control of the Gaza Strip, it has repeatedly attacked Israel with unguided rockets into civilian-populated neighborhoods, which is in violation of international law and constitutes a war crime.
Hamas, like other Palestinian movements, has a well-mastered propaganda tactic of telling everyone what they want to hear. Or what he will respond to in a way favorable to Hamas. That is why he now reports on the number of victims every day and publishes their pictures. He knows that he is affecting feelings, which is not to say that Israeli retaliatory attacks do not cause great suffering and many civilian casualties.
Hamas is also taking advantage of the fact that the Palestinian issue has not been resolved, as Israel not only continues to illegally occupy part of the territory where the Palestinian state was supposed to be established, and annexed East Jerusalem. However, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, which Hamas took advantage of to rule there in its own way.
Palestinian propaganda, in which dissenting voices do not appear because they are not given space, skillfully exploits the general tendency to pander to the weak. Understandably, it also recalls a history during which Israel did not behave like a lamb.
But this should not lead to obscuring what happened on October 7 and what Hamas is like at its core. Like all gangsters, he targeted the weakest, the easiest to murder and kidnap. There is no excuse for this and such people cannot be dealt with because they interpret any concession as weakness and encourage them to attack more, as Hamad’s words show.