January 14, 2024 | Flash Brief

100 Days After Brutal Attack, Israel Continues Maximum Pressure Campaign to Free Hostages

January 14, 2024 | Flash Brief

100 Days After Brutal Attack, Israel Continues Maximum Pressure Campaign to Free Hostages

Latest Development

A full 100 days after launching a brutal massacre, Hamas still holds more than 130 of the estimated 240 Israeli hostages the terrorist organization kidnapped on October 7. Of those in captivity, eight are American citizens. Israel believes that 25 hostages have died in captivity, and three Israeli hostages were killed by friendly fire in January. In exchange for Israel’s agreement to a temporary ceasefire and the release of 240 Palestinian prisoners arrested for security offenses, Hamas released 80 hostages in November as well as 25 additional hostages not directly part of the deal.

Those released from Hamas captivity recounted experiences of torture and sexual assault. Hamas has held hostages in its elaborate network of terror tunnels beneath the Gaza Strip and continues to prevent Red Cross workers from providing medical care to the hostages, but may allow the delivery of vital medicine pursuant to a deal between Israel and Qatar finalized on January 12.

Expert Analysis

“There are still over 130 Israeli hostages being held in the Gaza strip. Women, children, and the elderly have been cruelly held by a terror organization for 100 days. Israel launched this war with the objective of bringing the hostages home. The IDF will not – and should not – relent until all of the hostages’ families have their loved ones returned. Hamas terrorists are not freedom fighters. Hamas members are corrupt cowards who rape and brutalize women and children, torture the defenseless, hide behind their own civilians, and have stolen billions of dollars from the people of Gaza.” Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

“It speaks to a very broken hostage policy that we have allowed 100 days to go by without applying maximum pressure on every sponsor of Hamas: Iran, Qatar, Turkey, and Lebanon. When the history of this hostage crisis is written, let it be known the United States did not do all it could to bring them home.”Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

Netanyahu promises “total victory,” including hostages’ release

Freeing the hostages remains one of Israel’s top priorities, as domestic pressure mounts on their behalf despite international pressure to stop the war. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on the 100th day of war that “nobody will stop” Israel until “total victory” is achieved, including the release of all hostages. Netanyahu maintains that only “applying military pressure” can free the remaining hostages and believes this approach successfully forced Hamas’s hand in November.

On January 13, about 120,000 Israelis participated in a 24-hour peaceful rally in Tel Aviv, gathering near a mock Hamas terror tunnel Israeli artist Roni Levavi constructed as a physical reminder of the suffering experienced by the hostages. Elsewhere, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called for the release of hostages, as did U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken while visiting the region this month.

Qatar Accedes To Medicine Delivery For Hostages Held By Hamas,” FDD Flash Brief

Israeli Forces Locate Tunnel Where Hostages Were Held in Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

American hostages held by Hamas in hell as Biden and Blinken play politics,” FDD Senior Advisor Richard Goldberg


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