Alastair Crooke: Israeli Negotiations | Judge Napolitano – Judging Freedom

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➡ Judge Napolitano – Judging Freedom channel talks about a rescue operation to free hostages held by Hamas resulted in heavy casualties, with 274 Palestinians dead and around 400 injured. While Israel is relieved to have their hostages back, the operation has made future hostage releases more difficult and has not brought Israel any closer to defeating Hamas. The incident may also have political implications, potentially strengthening Netanyahu’s position as it could be seen by Israelis as a successful use of military force. However, others believe it could be counterproductive for Israel in the long run.


I think it’s, I mean, you know, I’ve said all along, I didn’t think that, you know, those negotiations were very hopeful, and I’ve explained why, because having been a negotiator between Hamas and Israel, I have some experience with this, and I didn’t think it was likely to come to fruition, and certainly after the raid that did release for, if you like, prisoners held by Hamas on Saturday, but the cost of it was really extremely heavy, 274 Palestinians dead, another 400 or so injured. I mean, the figures may be right or a little bit wrong, but there was, you know, dead bodies all over the street, people’s limbs lying on the ground, children dead.

I mean, it was pretty much a massacre that took place as part of the rescue. Of course, Israel is delighted and understandably so that their hostages are released. But for Palestinians, it’s been a disaster because it went wrong in part of the thing. I think they were found and they were hidden in this truck posing as one of the aid trucks. The soldiers came out and they just fired at anyone. Helicopter came in and started firing down the streets because by that time, their special forces had got into the apartment and was with one of the hostages, and their exit to the pier and the helicopter that was sitting just beside the pier was blocked.

So another car had to come, more soldiers, helicopter came, gunship helicopter came to rescue it. So it succeeded by a hair’s breadth, but at a huge risk. I mean, you know, what is it? 60 dead per hostage release. I don’t know what ratio is considered, you know, a worthwhile ratio to undertake, but that’s what it costs to buy. Is Israel any closer to defeating Hamas? No, no. That had nothing to do with it. In fact, I mean, what’s going to happen now is it’s going to make hostage release much harder hostage rescue almost impossible. Hamas have already said, well, OK, you know, they were keeping those hostages as far as it is, particularly the girl.

In houses, private Palestinian houses, and they allowed them to go out and get some sun and walk around. I mean, which was quite liberal. And they’ve said, no, finish all the hostages down deep in the tunnels. First of all, we know conversation will be no overhead recognitions because the Americans and the Israelis are just sort of covering the whole with facial recognition technology. Looking for these hostages. So they will be all off the list. I don’t think it’s going to make the Hamas any more meaningful to either to Israel’s proposals at all. The proposals have never changed from Hamas from the outside, which the hostage release has to be contingent on a cessation of the war, not just a cessation of the war and a complete withdrawal of forces by Israel from Gaza.

And I don’t think that this is immediately in sight. And so solutions are far off. And, you know, now, I mean, again, eyes are turning to Lebanon as a consequence to that. I think if you ask me what you did, ask me what Gantz’s, if you like, resignation does already, if you like, during this period, Netanyahu’s poll standing is going up and Gantz’s was going down. 39 to 30 has been who would make the best premier. So Gantz’s was falling, if you like, during this period. So in a sense, it strengthens Netanyahu’s hand. I mean, he did, you know, what it will see to most Israelis, not to the rest of the world, perhaps, but to most Israelis, it will see there we are.

Military force produced a result. The army went in, they used heavy weapons and they succeeded in rescuing. So in a sense, it’s a sort of endorsement for military action in Gaza, as seen by many Israelis. Of course, I don’t see it that way. And many other ones would think that actually it may turn out to be counterproductive from the view of Israel. [tr:trw].

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