According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the release of hostages taken by Hamas will not mark the end of the Israeli military campaign against Palestinian militia structures in the Gaza Strip. The war has stages and the recovery of the prisoners will be carried out in stages, he said.
Netanyahu also confirmed that the agreement, still pending official status, will consist of the release of hostages “in stages,” and that prisoners who do not return to their homes in the first deliveries will be visited by Red Cross personnel.
The Israeli Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, echoed Netanyahu’s statement and stressed that the Army will continue fighting “with all its forces once the phase of the prisoner exchange agreement is completed.” This agreement is seen as the first step toward the return of “all” the hostages.
Not everyone in the Israeli Government is in favor of this potential agreement. Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir has warned that it could lead to a “disaster” for Israel and his party opposes it. However, speculation about a possible agreement for releasing hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 arose after President Joe Biden stated that it was already “very, very close.” The spokesman for Israel Defense Forces emphasized that if such an agreement occurs, authorities will first inform families before making any news public.