Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash90
A July 8, 2010 protest rally that resulted in releasing 1,027 Hamas prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

On October 18, 2011, after months of angry rallies in the streets of Israel, Prime Minister Ben Jamin Netanyahu succumbed to the pressure and signed the most illogical and destructive agreement since Rabin’s 1994 Oslo Accords, to release a lone Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was in Hamas’s captivity, in exchange for 1,027 security prisoners, many of them with Jewish blood on their hands. One of those prisoners was Yahya Sinwar, the mastermind of the October 7, 2023 atrocities that included kidnapping hundreds of innocent Israelis.

On Monday, sources familiar with the details of the negotiations for a hostage release deal told Kan 11 News that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to new proposals, which he previously opposed, regarding letting the residents of the northern Gaza Strip return to their homes.”


All it took were months of increasingly wild and violent demonstrations by a well-organized mob representing a minority of Israelis and even, some say, a minority of the families of the hostages.

At this moment, only Hamas can stop this foolish move – bringing back to northern Gaza a Hamas contingency that would soon resume the attacks, first against the Israeli Gaza envelope settlements, and later against the rest of Israel. If Israel is lucky, Hamas, which only has 134 hostages to trade, will up the ante so impossibly that Netanyahu, despite his eagerness to end the rallies calling for his resignation, would be forced to refuse.

On Monday, the War Cabinet debated the question of Israel’s flexibility in the negotiations and examined a compromise regarding the Gazans returning to northern Gaza, as well as the Israeli presence in the corridor that crosses the Gaza Strip at its center. According to sources familiar with the matter, the expectation is that the talks will not continue due to Hamas’s insistence.

Hamas also wants to deny Netanyahu the photo op where he is welcoming a large group of released hostages who are coming home. Hamas insists that the release of hostages be carried out in pulses that would be broadly distributed throughout a six-week-long ceasefire. This means that hostages would be released every few days, and not in large groups. It also means that should the deal take place, many hostages would remain in Hamas captivity over Passover. Remember? The holiday of freedom? You think Hamas folks didn’t read the Haggadah?

Anarchist demonstrators enlist the hostages’ tragedy to unseat the democratically elected prime minister, March 30, 2024. / Itai Ron/Flash90


Here’s another note: on Monday, the Knesset passed the Al Jazeera law empowering the PM to shut down the Qatari channel’s operations in Israel over its blatant support for Hamas. But now, as a deal is growing near, Al Jazeera is probably safe to propagate its admiration for the Jew killers.

Meanwhile, the anarchist rallies have long since stopped being about releasing the hostages and have turned into a well-financed effort to unseat the democratically elected prime minister. Those efforts are being aided and abetted by the Supreme Court which insisted Netanyahu resolve the decades-old Haredi draft issue now, while the war is raging, a move that could push the PM’s Haredi coalition partners out.

Another meanwhile – Netanyahu’s trial is becoming a mockery of justice, as every day in court results in revelations of corruption and ineptitude, not on the part of the PM, but the prosecution. It’s become so bad that one of the judges this week asked the prosecution when they were going to bring on their witnesses – seeing as so many witnesses for the prosecution had to be declared hostile for supporting the defense’s version of the truth.

But veracity doesn’t matter. Netanyahu’s enemies need his trial to continue, despite its turning into a circus, because being on trial debilitates the PM’s ability to fire and hire, exposes every one of his acts in government to a threat of being declared incapacitated, and may jeopardize his ability to run in the next elections.


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