Andy Blumenthal
Leadership With Heart

How To Get The Hostages Out Alive

AI generated image vis Craiyon

Today is the 114th day that the Israeli hostages are being held by the depraved Hamas terrorists in Gaza under the most deplorable conditions known to mankind.

On October 7, we all “witnessed” the marauding Hamas terrorists viciously murder 1,200 and rape, beat, and abduct over 240 Israelis and bring them to the Gaza terror tunnels, where they have been keeping them in cages underground with no daylight, little breathable air, almost no food, without medicine, and subject to repeated torture and violent gang rape.

While 110 hostages were released as part of a deal with Hamas, there are another 132 held in captivity, and one of the primary goals of Israel is to free the hostages and bring them home. It is a national and religious imperative. These are our brothers and sisters, and we must bring every single one back, period.

Strategically, we understand that Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas and mastermind of the October 7 mass terror attack in southern Israel, is hiding in the tunnels under Khan Yunis and that he has surrounded himself with the remaining hostages and is ready to blow them all up should Israel undertake any sort of rescue mission. The result would be a very bittersweet ending: killing Sinwar but losing the innocent, beautiful men, women, and children that he is holding as human shields.

In my opinion, the only tactical way to rescue the hostages is to locate and map the tunnel they are hiding in and then gas everyone to sleep. The gas would need to be carefully regulated so as not to alert the terrorists that it is being used and not to harm the hostages. The gas needs to be odorless and colorless (like nitrous oxide) to camouflage its use, and the Israeli commandos will need to be hairpin-ready to blow the blast doors and get in to rescue the hostages.

This alternative is far better than releasing 100 Palestinian prisoners (many “with blood on their hands”) for every 1 Israeli hostage like Hamas is demanding (or 10,000+ Palestinian prisoners), thereby creating the terror environment for yet another, and perhaps many, October 7-like attacks in the future that would put many more Israelis at risk. Unfortunately, this is what happened when Israel released Sinwar as part of the 1,000 for 1 deal in 2011 for Gilad Shalit, and look where it got us.

The hostage rescue mission will not be easy. Truly, it will need to be another miraculous and heroic IDF mission, such as Operation Thunderbolt (aka the Raid on Entebbe), where Prime Minister Netanyahu’s brother Yoni, who was leading that mission, was unfortunately lost, but almost all the hostages were saved from over 2,700 miles away.

Like in this week’s Torah portion, Beshalach, when Amalek came and attacked the Israelites as they fled Egyptian servitude, Moshe ascended the hill and raised his hands in supplication to G-d Almighty. When the Israelites saw this, they prevailed against Amalek. Similarly, now is the time for us to raise our eyes Heavenward and ask G-d for a miracle to help the IDF save the hostages and defeat Hamas. As it says (Beshalach 17:16):

The L-rd’s war with Amalek is from generation to generation.

Now it is our generation’s turn to fight Amalek and save the hostages from their evil clutches. G-d is with us if we are with G-d. May we be worthy of His miraculous hand.

About the Author
Andy Blumenthal is a dynamic, award-winning leader who writes frequently about Jewish life, culture, and security. All opinions are his own.
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