Three female Hamas hostages accuse Netanyahu in a video: “We are paying for your failure.” The Prime Minister: “No truce, the war enters its third phase”


By John

«We are paying for your failure. Free us, free everyone now, now! The anger against Benjamin Netanyahu is shouted by one of the three women hostage of which Hamas released a video today that shocked Israel and the world. Words that come from the bottom of an unknown hiding place in the Strip. “Cruel psychological propaganda on the part of Hamas”, the prime minister branded it shortly afterwards, ruling out a ceasefire.

The militiamen’s move came as the Israeli army, from the bridgehead in the north of the Strip, advanced with troops and tanks to the outskirts of Gaza City. A progression of men and vehicles that went, according to local sources, to the eastern part of the Sajaya district, a stone’s throw from the capital of the Palestinian enclave. And they hit, before retreating, Sallah-a-din, the main artery that cuts through the entire Strip. A slow and inexorable attrition of Hamas’ positions, as explained by military spokesman Daniel Hagari: “We have extended our activity inside Gaza, increasing the forces involved.”

A maneuver that Netanyahu described as “the third phase of the war”, with the army “advancing in a measured but powerful manner”. Because, Netanyahu insisted, “the ground operation” is the only way to bring the hostages home. A belief strengthened by the liberation, by the army and the Shin Bet, of the soldier Ori Magidish, one of the 239 hostages, kidnapped last October 7 in the Nahal Oz kibbutz, where she was a lookout. A “targeted” operation prepared for days after the intelligence had obtained information on the place of her imprisonment in Gaza.

However, the success achieved does not seem to be able to compensate for the shock of the video of the three hostages, which Israeli TV reported but did not broadcast.. The identity of the three women was made known by the prime minister himself: Yelena Tropanov (of kibbutz Nir Oz), Danielle Alloni and Rimon Kirscht (of kibbutz Nirim), who saw their loved ones killed or kidnapped in the attack of three weeks ago.

«We discount your political, security and military failure. There was no army – shouted Alloni – there was no one, no one protected us. Now we are prisoners here… under no conditions. He kills us. Do you want to kill us all? Do you want the army to kill us? Isn’t it enough that Israeli citizens were killed? Free their citizens and prisoners now. Free us: now, now, now!”, urged the woman, effectively asking to accept the prisoner exchange proposed by Hamas. An accusation to which the prime minister obviously did not respond, however clarifying in a press conference in Tel Aviv that there will be no exchange and no ceasefire. “There is a time for peace and a time for war. Now it is time for war. We did not want it but we will carry it out until victory”, thundered Netanyahu, rejecting any hypothesis of resignation.

“The only one I want to resign – he responded to a question from journalists – is Hamas, we will force them to resign, to give up their objectives, it is my responsibility and I will continue to lead my country” into war. The families of the three hostages instead reacted to the video by launching an appeal to Western leaders. «I ask President Biden – said one of them – to do everything possible to bring them home. Time is passing but it’s not too late to get them back.”

On the ground, the military strategy, explained the army spokesperson, remains that of “combined land-sea-air actions”. With attacks that have increased exponentially in recent days, hitting over 650 targets in Gaza: weapons depots, anti-tank missile launch sites (including near Al-Azhar University), underground hideouts and bases Hamas training camp. The police instead announced that they had identified the bodies of 1,135 killed Israelis: 823 civilians and 312 soldiers. Among them also the Israeli with a German passport Shani Louk, 22 years old, kidnapped in the Reim rave and massacred as shown by some videos.

In the Strip the situation is collapsing and certainly the humanitarian aid that manages to trickle in is not enough. Today 40 trucks entered the Rafah crossing but in the evening the White House announced that the objective is to have at least one hundred pass through it a day. The deaths (Hamas authorities do not distinguish between civilians and combatants) have reached 8,306, of which 3,457 are “minors”. The injured are over 21,000.