Israeli media: The return of the rest of the prisoners from Gaza will take place only in a deal that requires major concessions


According to Amos Harel, the military affairs analyst in the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, the operation carried out by the Israeli army provided what he described as a much-needed injection of encouragement for the Israeli public, noting that it’s not realistic to expect the rest of the prisoners to be recovered in the same way.

Harel stressed that “Israel isn’t close to absolute victory,” adding that the return of a large number of prisoners in the Gaza Strip “will only take place as part of a deal that requires major concessions”.

Speaking of providing a much-needed injection of encouragement to the Israeli public, he explained that it came after weeks of feelings of intransigence and bad news from the war in the Gaza Strip.

Harel stressed that the event doesn’t augur well for a strategic change in the image of war.

He recalled that in the eight months that have elapsed, since the capture of more than 250 Israelis, “only 7 of them have been returned in three separate operations,” and considering it unrealistic to expect that “it will be possible to free the remaining 120 prisoners, many of whom are no longer alive, using similar methods”.

Harel referred to the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that the return of prisoners came after a long period of disappointment that he experienced, and that it was impossible not to notice the absolute cynicism with which Netanyahu is acting now.

He pointed out that he himself was disappearing from the picture completely when news of the killing of additional prisoners in captivity was received.

It’s noteworthy that the former commander of the Israeli air force, Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, when commenting on the freeing of the 4 Israeli hostages, acknowledged that this event is local, and its impact is still limited.

In a sign that the operation won’t lead to strategic changes in the course of the war, Ben-Eliyahu stressed, while speaking to Israel’s Channel 12 on Saturday, that it cannot be concluded that Hamas will surrender after this operation, nor that the Middle East will change, or that calm will prevail for a hundred years.

In a similar situation, the former head of Israel’s military intelligence division, Aman, Tamir Hayman, said that the return of the four prisoners was a tactical event, stressing that “the strategic predicament in which Israel is located hasn’t changed”.

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