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Israel's far-right minister criticizes possible hostage deal

Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel's far-right Police Minister, strongly condemned a potential agreement with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas that would involve releasing the hostages currently being held in the Gaza Strip.

Published November 21,2023
Israel's far-right Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has sharply criticized a possible deal with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas to release the hostages it holds in the Gaza Strip.

"I am very concerned that a possible agreement was currently being discussed," Ben-Gvir said on the Israeli television station Channel 14 late on Monday evening.

He added that he was worried that the state of Israel could make a "very, very, very big mistake" with such a deal.

Ben-Gvir recalled the so-called Shalit deal in 2011, when more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners - including the head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar - were released in return for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held hostage by Hamas for five years.

"Remember, we freed Gilad Shalit and let Sinwar and his friends out - and brought this suffering upon ourselves," Ben-Gvir said. In its unprecedented terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, Hamas kidnapped around 240 people to the Gaza Strip and killed 1,200 in the border region.

The far-right police and security minister is not a member of the Israeli war Cabinet. Meanwhile, negotiations between Israel and Hamas on the release of hostages in the Gaza Strip continue, and media reports suggest there are increasing signs that a deal is imminent.