Dan Ehrlich

Israel’s Hard Choice to Free the Hostages

Israel’s imminent ground assault on Gaza is fraught with danger and will more than likely cost more Israeli lives and put the lives of the 200 hostages at risk.

Yet, there’s little doubt among the general Israeli population that the Hamas terrorist government has to go. How it will go leaves room for negotiation.

Whatever death toll figures you believe, the fact is many Gazan civilians have been killed in Israel’s intense bombing campaign.

Yet, there’s little hard evidence that Hamas terrorists are among those numbers, or that the bombing has destroyed the Hamas military machine. The rockets keep flying into Israel by the hundreds. And how many terrorists are sheltering in the vaunted Hamas tunnel network?

US President Biden is urging Israel to think twice about a frontal ground assault in Gaza, using America’s own experience in Iraq as a guide.

Marine Corps. General James Glynn, the former commander of Marine Forces Special Operations Command, has been sent by Biden to advise Israel in urban warfare.

He has significant experience with this type of operation in Iraq, particularly in Fallujah, where some of the bloodiest fighting between US forces and insurgents took place.

Instead of launching a full-scale ground assault on Gaza, which could endanger hostages and civilians, the US military is urging Israelis to use a combination of precision airstrikes and special operations raids.

In the end, Israel may be faced with a stark choice of offering Hamas safe passage out of Gaza in exchange for a safe hostage return.

Such an outcome would be advantageous with the lives of many Israeli troops being saved from deadly house-to-house, tunnel-by-tunnel fighting.

Where Hamas would go and what it would do in exile is somewhat of a mystery. For some, it might mean a return to Lebanon for a union with Hezbollah. For others, it may mean waiting until the time is right to attempt a return to Gaza.

One thing is certain, Hamas won’t just disappear.

About the Author
A London based American journalist with a long wide ranging career spanning print, radio TV and online news.
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