Israel may be willing to postpone a physical assault on Gaza, according to a recent Axios story, in order to facilitate conversations about the probable release of several hostages.
Two senior Israeli officials said that Israel would be willing to postpone “for a few days” in a report by veteran Israeli journalist Barak Ravid. “Israel and the Biden administration are both committed to making every attempt to free hostages in Gaza.
We will be prepared to make concessions in return if Hamas offers a substantial package, a senior Israeli official stated.
It is unclear what a “big package” would include or what concessions Israel would offer. According to Israeli authorities cited by Axios, the Israelis informed the Egyptian mediators that if Hamas wants a hostage exchange, it must free all the women and children it is holding.
When asked about it on CNN on Tuesday, Ravid reaffirmed that Israel’s objective is to ensure the release of all women, children, and senior citizens. According to Israeli officials, a deal for hostages would be much less feasible once a ground invasion had begun.
Israel is under pressure from the Biden administration to postpone a ground invasion of Gaza.
Two Israeli ladies, Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, and Nurit Cooper, 79, were freed by Hamas on Monday. Axios reports that Hamas asserts it requested Israel release the prisoners over the weekend but was rejected. (Clearly, the terrorist organization Hamas has no credibility.)
Israeli authorities, according to Axios, verified that Hamas made the offer but claimed that their initial demand was that Israel cease its attacks for six hours in exchange.
The officials claimed that they declined out of concern that doing so might set a precedent wherein Hamas would free detainees each time it requested a cease-fire.
They worry that each cease-fire could give Hamas time to regroup and senior terrorist officials the opportunity to shift from one cover to another without being hunted down.