Analysis | The Fate of the Israeli Hostages Depends on Palestinians Running Gaza – and Hamas’ Future

Hamas’ Sinwar.Credit: John Minchillo / AP
Published February 22, 2024

The postwar rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip, aided by Egypt and Qatar, depends of the establishment of a Palestinian regime which, for now at least, also depends of Yahya Sinwar agreeing – and there’s no one in Hamas strong enough to tell him what to do

The Egyptian Defense Ministry on Saturday released several documents, including maps, describing the preparations for the Yom Kippur War. Releasing these documents for the first time after 50 years, seemingly out of context, raised questions both in and out of Egypt, especially since the timing wasn’t related to any historic date like the beginning of the war, or its end.

Retired Egyptian General Hossam Sowilam, former head of the Egyptian army’s Strategic Studies Center, has a very clear explanation. “The release is intended to emphasize the Egyptian army’s abilities to defend its land. There’s a message here related to what’s going on in Gaza and to the regional threats on Egypt as a result, that is to say, the Egyptian army has the power and ability to deter and deal with all the threats.”

In the absence of an official explanation, it is not altogether clear if this was the intention of the Egyptian army or the president, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, by releasing all these documents. But the analyses in Egypt and the reports of the documents in the Arab media have a life of their own. According to them it seems Egypt wants to demonstrate its fear of the growing threat that Israel expands the war to Rafah and cause more than a million of residents to breach the separation fence and enter Sinai.



RELATED: How the dead serve as bargaining chips in the Israel-Hamas conflict

Suheir Barghouti’s son, Saleh Barghouti was shot dead by the Israeli military in 2018 in the West Bank city of Ramallah, a short distance from their home.
Six years later, she still doesn’t know where his body is.
Ayman Oghanna for NPR
Published February 21, 2024

TEL AVIV, Israel — Hamas is holding Israeli hostages. Israel is holding Hamas militants. On both sides, many of those captives are dead.

In the current Israel-Hamas war and in previous conflicts, both sides have adopted a policy of keeping the dead bodies of their enemies, often for years, so they can be used as bargaining chips.

“The basic assumption in Israel is that Hamas will hold on to hostages, living or dead, as an insurance policy,” says Gershon Baskin, an Israeli who has worked as a hostage negotiator. He has served as a go-between for the Israeli government and Hamas — which don’t talk to each other.

Israel also has a tradition of withholding Palestinian bodies, says Issam Aruri, a Palestinian who runs the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center.

“Sometimes we feel it is arbitrary,” Aruri says in an interview at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah. “If Israel feels that this guy is of value for Hamas, that they may pay a price for him or her, Israel will keep the body for sure.”



RELATED: Rapid U.S. Action Could Break the Cycle of Violence in Gaza

Washington must take creative and daring steps to mitigate human suffering and plant the seeds for a post-Hamas future.

Children play among tents set up for Palestinians seeking refuge on the grounds of a United Nations facility in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Oct. 19, 2023. MAHMUD HAMS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Published February 21, 2024

Mounting civilian casualties and growing worldwide frustration with Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza have placed the U.S. government in a difficult position. Washington backs Israel in its offensive against the Islamist group to degrade its military capabilities and prevent another serious attack against Israeli territories and civilians. However, the Biden administration is no longer convinced that Hamas can be fully eradicated militarily. Instead, U.S. officials are interested in a pause in fighting that could lead to a formal end of the war, starting with a hostage exchange deal that plants the seeds for new political and administrative arrangements in Gaza.

While cease-fire talks in Cairo have seemingly stalled due to Hamas’s unrealistic demands and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intransigence, the Biden administration appears determined to use the current crisis as a basis for a long-term arrangement that includes the recognition of a Palestinian state.

There is concern about the fate of Hamas and what remains of its governance, control, and militant assets after hostilities end. Scenes from Gaza of areas vacated by Israel Defense Forces ground troops, particularly in the northern part of the coastal enclave, have shown several instances of Hamas reappearing in supposedly cleared zones, demonstrating the group’s potential for surviving the war.

The risk of going back to business as usual after this war terrifies me. I am originally from Gaza. I have lost more than 31 of my family members who were killed by IDF airstrikes in Gaza City and Rafah. Both of my childhood homes are gone. My immediate and extended family are all homeless, having had to regularly flee in pursuit of safety. This personal dimension is precisely why I’ve been desperately seeking pragmatic ideas, outlined below, that address humanitarian aid provision and the stabilization of post-war Gaza through new security arrangements. This is not an intellectual or analytical issue for me. It is an existential one that threatens the survival of what remains of my family in the Gaza Strip and the preservation of the territory that I once called home.




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Why do CO2 lag behind temperature?

71% of the earth is covered by ocean, water is a 1000 times denser than air and the mass of the oceans are 360 times that of the atmosphere, small temperature changes in the oceans doesn’t only modulate air temperature, but it also affect the CO2 level according to Henry’s Law.

The reason it is called “Law” is because it has been “proven”!

“.. scientific laws describe phenomena that the scientific community has found to be provably true ..”

That means, the graph proves CO2 do not control temperature, that again proves (Man Made) Global Warming, now called “Climate Change” due to lack of … Warming is – again – debunked!