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Countdown for the Zionist Captives; Is Netanyahu Poised to Swallow the Bitter Pill?

18 Feb 2024 22:01

Islam Times - Hamas, by detailing the dire situation of Zionist captives in Gaza, has fully justified the Zionist regime to, before it is too late, return them to their families by signing a ceasefire agreement. Otherwise, the responsibility for the endangerment of the prisoners' lives falls on Netanyahu's shoulders, who disregarded the warnings of the resistance and the international community.

While the Zionist regime prepares itself for launching new attacks in Rafah, supposedly to free Zionist captives held by Hamas, the reports emerging concerning the prisoners' conditions are not flattering. Perhaps Israeli citizens, due to the extremism of their right-wing leaders, may bury their desires to reunite with their families due to their own ambitions.

Abu Ubaidah, the spokesperson for the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, threatened on Friday that the time for the release of Zionist captives from the perspective of the resistance is coming to an end.

Referring to the high casualties among Zionist prisoners, Abu Ubaidah stated: "We have repeatedly warned about the dangers facing enemy captives in the hands of the resistance, but the Israeli leadership ignored it. Zionists deliberately or unintentionally wounded or killed a significant number of captives."

Abu Ubaidah also added: "Enemy captives are in difficult conditions due to the attacks of the Zionist regime. They are not in good shape, and we try to protect them. The spokesperson for al-Qassam termed the Zionist regime fully responsible for famine and hunger in Gaza.

Currently, about 120 Zionist captives are held by Hamas, some of whom hold foreign citizenship, and some have been killed or wounded due to Israeli army attacks.

The precise figures regarding the casualties among the captives remain undisclosed. However, according to al-Qassam's description, the captives seem to be in unfavorable conditions, and if assistance is not rendered promptly, their impending fate remains uncertain.

The warning issued to the extremists in Tel Aviv

Abu Ubaidah's statements about the condition of Zionist captives can be considered an ultimatum and a serious warning message to the hardline government of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, who is delaying in signing an agreement with Hamas despite regional efforts to stop the hostilities in Gaza and exchange captives.

Netanyahu and his allies perceive Hamas' conditions for the release of all Palestinian captives as excessive and have recently proposed a plan whereby fewer Palestinian captives would be released in exchange for an extension of the ceasefire in Gaza. Hamas had previously stated the release of all Palestinian captives as a condition for the release of Zionist captives, but Netanyahu's government has not yet agreed to this request.

Given the physical condition of the Zionist captives as described by Abu Ubaidah, it seems these individuals cannot sustain themselves for long, as the health and food situation in Gaza is dire, and captives, like Palestinians, are deprived of these essential facilities, threatening the lives of the Zionists. With only minimal aid reaching Gaza, hunger and deprivation prevail in this besieged enclave, and the captives are not managing well either.

In such disastrous circumstances for Zionist captives, Netanyahu is seeking to initiate extensive ground operations in Rafah, the only place where foreign aid enters Gaza. In the event of such attacks, captives will either perish from hunger and lack of medical facilities or be killed in the assaults by the occupying army.

Recently, there has been increased pressure from the international community, including the United States, on Tel Aviv to accept a ceasefire and avoid launching a widespread attack in Rafah. Nonetheless, during a phone conversation with Joe Biden, Netanyahu defiantly rejected the directives of the international community and opposed the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Netanyahu asserted that they will continue fighting until achieving complete victory, which involves taking decisive action in Rafah.

Signs indicate that the Netanyahu government is seriously considering a ground assault in Rafah, a battle that could endure for weeks or even months, resulting in substantial losses for Zionist captives.

Over the past five months of attacks, numerous Zionist captives have perished in army offensives, and it is probable that the remaining captives could meet a similar fate in Rafah.

Meanwhile, the announcement of a red alert status by the al-Qassam Brigades' commander might heighten internal pressures, particularly from captive families, on the war cabinet.

In recent months, families of captives have staged protests, demanding an end to the conflict in Gaza and the repatriation of their loved ones. Nevertheless, Netanyahu dismisses the requests of Israeli citizens and persists with the war to prevent the collapse of his cabinet and retain power for a little longer. Consequently, with al-Qassam's caution regarding the captives' dilemma, internal protests against Netanyahu's cabinet are likely to escalate, as the family of the Zionist captives blame the extremist cabinet for the loss of their children.

The Israeli government aims to pressure Hamas by initiating a ground assault in Rafah, intending to force the group to concede its demands. However, Palestinian resistance figures assert their commitment to combatting the occupying force for as long as the conflict in Gaza endures, suggesting that a military confrontation in Rafah will not achieve its desired outcome.

Abu Ubaidah recently underscored that the actual battlefield conditions significantly differ from the Zionist narrative. Resistance fighters actively engage the enemy across Gaza, employing diverse tactics and suitable weaponry.

Moreover, Hamas, through its warnings to the Netanyahu administration concerning the dilemma of captives, endeavors to compel Israel to honor ceasefire agreements brokered with Qatar and Egypt. This is especially crucial as among the captives are individuals from the United States and other nations. Abu Ubaidah's statements also serve as a direct message to the United States, urging it to pressure Zionist hardliners to ensure the captives' safety. Failure to act could result in the Zionist regime occupier’s bearing responsibility for the captives' deaths.

Despite international calls for an end to attacks on Palestinians, the Israeli regime persists in its assaults on Gaza and refrains from taking steps to alleviate the humanitarian crisis.

If ground offensives occur in Rafah before Ramadan, Zionist captives will remain vulnerable to military atrocities. Those captives that have been carefully cared for by the al-Qassam Brigades for five months may face death at the hands of Tel Aviv's extremist leaders.

Story Code: 1117097

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