Members of the Israeli families of hostages held in Gaza by Hamas have spoken out in front of a panel in the Israeli Knesset, calling for action and a solution to free their loved ones.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, is under increasing pressure from relatives of the hostages to reach a compromise with Hamas. A second round of hostage exchanges might happen if Hamas accepts the right conditions, according to the Israeli authorities.
These events occur as regional tensions continue to rise due to attacks on Israel, the United States, and international maritime routes by Iran and its proxy terrorist groups. Israel is at odds with its closest friend, the US, and the majority of the world community about what should happen to Gaza.
The controversy over Gaza’s destiny further impedes plans for postwar administration or rebuilding of the coastal area. If there is no realistic way to establish a Palestinian state, Saudi Arabia will either help rebuild Gaza or improve relations with Israel.
At least 25,295 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 60,000 injured in Israel’s attack in Gaza. Of those casualties, 66 percent were children and women. The Israeli military attributes the high civilian casualty to Hamas’s presence in densely populated areas and asserts that it has eliminated about 9,000 terrorists.
Due to Israeli restrictions and the ongoing warfare, 85 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have evacuated their homes, and as a result, one out of four Gazans are hungry. Attacks on Israeli and American objectives by militants backed by Iran have escalated tensions in the area and the war as a whole.
The United States is pressuring Netanyahu to implement its postwar vision for Gaza, which includes a restructured Palestinian Authority to oversee the area and talks on a two-state solution, and Netanyahu’s popularity has been steadily declining since October 7. A number of EU foreign ministers have joined the chorus demanding a Palestinian state, arguing that this is essential if the region is to find a lasting peace.
The regions that Israel conquered in the 1967 Mideast war—Gaza, the West Bank, and east Jerusalem—are all parts of what the Palestinians want to establish a state.