The situation in the Middle East is for another day a leading topic for foreign publications, writes BTA.
The French newspaper “Mond” quoted the statement of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who admitted that the efforts of the Israeli army to minimize the number of civilian casualties in Gaza “were not successful”. “We are doing our best not to put civilians at risk, while Hamas fighters are doing everything to put them at risk,” he added to the media.
According to the prime minister, there were good reasons to believe that the Hamas hostages were in the Al Shifa hospital, which is one of the reasons that prompted the Israeli army to begin a siege of the building since Wednesday. But “if they were there, they were moved,” Netanyahu added.
The Israeli army announced that it had found near the hospital the body of a hostage kidnapped by Hamas on October 7, as well as military equipment, Kalashnikov assault rifles and hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers, according to Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). ).
The British newspaper “Telegraph” quotes the words of the mother of Shani Luk, who died during the Hamas attack on a music festival in Israel, who had dual German and Israeli citizenship. 53-year-old Ricarda Luk reports that the Hamas terrorist who carried the body of the murdered 22-year-old woman across the Gaza Strip, thus bragging about this crime, has been killed. “It didn’t really matter to me – there are so many evil people who did these terrible things, and now there’s just one less villain,” added the mother of the victim. “I’m glad this guy can’t hurt anybody anymore, but it doesn’t really matter because there’s a whole group left. It’s not like the typical murder story where you find the killer and he’s killed. They did these things as a group “says the mother of the murdered Shani. Ricardo Luk called on Israel to accept the deal proposed by Hamas to exchange the 240 hostages it is holding in the Gaza Strip for 4,450 Palestinians in Israeli prisons. “Protecting the lives of the hostages is more important than keeping these prisoners,” she said.
Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich reprimanded the wartime cabinet for conducting hostage negotiations with Hamas, The Times of Israel reports. “The fact that after 41 days (Hamas leader Yahya) Sinwar can still negotiate to set conditions for the release of the hostages shows that we are not moving in the right direction,” he told X on government meeting time.
“The time has come for the wartime cabinet to start showing force, cut off contacts and show this Nazi and his Qatari boss that from now on we are setting the terms.” He added that this behavior is the only way to return all the hostages and restore the security of the Israeli state.
“Qatar is a dangerous intermediary” in the war between Israel and Hamas, writes the French newspaper Poin. “The emirate is changing its roles: a partner of the West and a supporter of the Islamists, it maneuvers between mediation and influence on the developing events,” the newspaper adds.
The gas-rich emirate is among the few countries that enjoy the trust of all countries in the Middle East. Doha is trying to negotiate the release of a dozen Israeli hostages in exchange for a humanitarian cessation of operations by Israeli forces, the French publication recalls.
“The right-wing forces in Israel hope not only for a victory in Gaza, but for territorial gains,” reads an analysis by the Washington Post.
The publication points out that amid the ongoing events, Israeli and foreign politicians are increasingly excited about the eventual outcome.
Israel’s unity government, led by polarizing right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been tight-lipped about its plans for the Gaza enclave once it has decided a threat from the militant Islamist group Hamas has been completely eliminated. That’s probably because those plans aren’t ready yet, given the complex ground operation and growing pressure from the international community, which is agitating against continued Israeli shelling of the small Palestinian territory where Hamas has established itself.
Perhaps the clearest ideas about what the governance of Gaza should be after the end of hostilities were expressed by right-wing forces in the cabinet. The publication also recalls the statement of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who said this week that Israel “will no longer be able to accept” an independent Palestinian entity in Gaza and called on the residents of the territory to emigrate “voluntarily” to other countries in the world.
The fears of critics of Israeli policy that the country is conducting a de facto campaign of ethnic cleansing are not unfounded, concludes the Washington Post. So far, however, neither the Israeli government nor its military have officially declared their intention to continue the indefinite occupation or displacement of Gaza. At the same time, international calls for a ceasefire are intensifying. A denouement seems increasingly inevitable as Hamas’s military and governance capabilities appear to have been shattered. The question is what will fill the vacuum in Gaza, emphasizes the Washington Post.